Blind musher signs up for 2004 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2003

BEND, Ore. - A high-ranking official with the Iditarod sled dog race said a sight-impaired musher from Redmond should be allowed to compete in the 2004 race.

Rich Koch, president of the Iditarod Trails Committee, said he did not believe the use of spotters on snowmobiles would give Rachel Scdoris, 18, an unfair advantage on the 1,100-mile course between Anchorage and Nome.

"I don't see it any different as my putting on a pair of glasses, as long as they don't provide her any other assistance," Koch said

Scdoris' registration and $1,850 entry fee arrived in Wasilla one day before the first day that entries were accepted.

.At a June meeting in Anchorage, the Iditarod Trails Committee voted to postpone a proposed rule that would have allowed the case-by-case consideration of accommodations for disabled athletes.

The rule would have allowed race officials to consider accommodations if the safety of the racer or the racer's dogs was not compromised, if the fundamental nature of the competition was not altered and if the changes would not give the disabled person an advantage.

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