Susan Macaulay, a disabled Air Force veteran from Juneau, took part in the 19th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic last week in Snowmass Village, Colo.
Macaulay, 39, was one of more than 300 U.S. military veterans from 47 states to take part in the weeklong clinic on adaptive alpine and nordic skiing and snowboarding. This was the third straight year Macaulay took part in the clinic, which took place April 3-8.
A Juneau resident, Macaulay has a brain injury and receives care at the Veterans Affairs medical facility in Anchorage. She is a beginning skier and used a bi-ski to learn adaptive Alpine skiing. A bi-ski is a sit-ski similar to a mono-ski, like the one used by Juneau U.S. disabled alpine skier Joe Tompkins, but it also includes a set of outriggers to help with balance.
"This event brings together hundreds of people with disabilities," Macaulay said in a press release. "I feel like one of the group, not one who stands out from the group. Each year, I leave the clinic with my self-confidence at a wonderfully high level. It is amazing how the staff helps the participants discover what they can do."
The clinic is organized to help veterans with significant physical or visual impairments learn about adaptive sports, such as skiing, sled hockey, scuba diving, rock climbing and other events. Nearly 50 veterans recently injured in Iraq took part in this year's clinic.
More information is available at http://www.wintersportsclinic.org.