The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is a world-leader in adaptive winter sports instruction for U.S. military Veterans and active duty servicemen and women with disabilities.
Set in stunning Snowmass, Colorado, the Clinic will celebrate its 28th year by bringing nearly 400 Veterans with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputations, visual impairments, certain neurological conditions and other disabilities to the mountain.
More than 200 certified ski instructors for the disabled, and several current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, serve as ski instructors to meet the unique needs of the participants.
In addition to Alpine skiing, the Clinic also features a number of other sports including: cross country, rock climbing, scuba diving, kayaking, and snowmobiling.
The Clinic is co-sponsored by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and made possible by a number of sponsors who make monetary and in-kind donations.
Registration for volunteers begins in June and participants can sign up beginning in August.
Important NDVWSC Info
Sponsors & Hosts
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DAV (Disabled American Veterans), with financial assistance from corporate sponsors and individual donors.
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The Grand Junction, Colorado VA Medical Center and VA's Rocky Mountain Network host the event each year.
We are committed to improving the quality of life for Veterans with disabilities. Participants will develop sports skills and take part in a variety of adaptive sports workshops. Clinic participation demonstrates that having a physical or visual disability is not an obstacle to an active rewarding life.
The five-day Clinic consists of downhill and cross-country ski lessons, a challenge race, adaptive sports workshops and educational classes, plus sponsored and self-directed alternate activities such as scuba diving, sled hockey, a climbing wall, snowmobiling and other activities. More than 200 certified ski instructors for the disabled, and several current and former members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, serve as ski instructors to meet the unique needs of the participants.
The Clinic will be held in Snowmass Village: Colorado's finest skiing in the majestic Rocky Mountains. Snowmass is renowned as a premier winter destination. Visit http://www.snowmassvillage.com/ for more information.
Your stay in Snowmass Village during the 28th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is one you will surely remember.
Statistics (provided by http://www.snowmassvillage.com):
Base Elevation: 8,104 feet
Summit Elevation: 12,510 feet
Vertical Rise: 4,406 feet
Terrain: 3,132 acres
Number of Trails: 91
Miles of Trails: 147 miles
Longest Run: 5.3 miles
Types of Trails: Easiest – 6 percent; More difficult – 50 percent; Most difficult – 12 percent; Expert – 32 percent
Annual Snowfall: 300 inches
Lifts: 21 Totall
Bill Wiegand, 66 year old Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam era, is participating in his first National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic to experience freedom.
This is the first year that Wiegand participated in the Winter Sports Clinic. It took the gentle encouragement of his recreational therapist who told him that this was going to be a good thing for him. Wiegand agrees.
Wiegand lost his leg in June 2012 after two surgeries. Wiegand says that the loss of his leg made him appreciate life.
“You look at life a lot differently than you did before. You don’t take for granted what you have,” Wiegand says.
Wiegand, once again on the good advice of a close confidant, jumped in the 96 degree pool here, while the outside temperature was nearly freezing. Wiegand immediately took to the diving course.
“I love it. It’s peaceful down there. You can get away from everything,” Wiegand says.
The scuba diving class is held in an outdoor heated pool. Veterans are then fitted with scuba gear and receive an introductory one-on-one lesson with a coach. At any given time there are nearly a dozen Veterans and coaches in the pool.
Wiegand is encouraged by his experiences this year and is a lifelong supporter of the Winter Sports Clinic. He encourages other Veterans to participate.
“It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, emotionally and physically.”
Wiegand then slipped back below the plane of the water and retreated to the area where he could relax and get away from everything.
Participation is open to disabled U.S. military service Veterans who receive care at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility. In addition, a number of active duty military personnel from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have attended in recent years.
Contact the Veterans Affairs Medical Center where you receive care or a local Veterans Service Organization (VSO) for additional information.
What do I need to bring with me to the event?
Participants should bring clothes for layering, waterproof shoes and a great attitude.
DAV Media Contact:
DAV National Director of Voluntary Services