This past weekend was one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Nationals Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), the 32nd Annual Wells Fargo Bank Cup. It’s a weekend full of sponsors, fun and racing. For the athletes that train here in Winter Park, we get a chance to “show our stuff” to the NSCD sponsors and open eyes for others about our program. The NSCD is one of the best outdoor recreation programs for people with disabilities in the world. Thanks to this event, Wells Fargo Bank, the Denver Post, Denver Broncos Alumni and Denver’s Channel 4 we are able to show sponsors and the general public what that really means.
For me, this past weekend really was a lot of fun. On Saturday I participated in the Frontier Cup which is triple SL team race. I want to send a special note of thanks to Don Marshall a member of the NSCD board of trustees and long time supporter of me and my racing. I had the privilege of being on his team “Wellskis” in the Frontier Cup and helping them advance to the second round of racing for the first time in years (maybe ever.) Yeah!
On Sunday I raced in the Disabled Invitational. This was the first time I’ve raced in this race because in the past, the Disabled Invitational was only open to men. This was because it was based on the pro-race format that was only open to men. Last year our head coach here in Winter Park, Erik Petersen, changed that and created a women’s category. Unfortunately for the NSCD most of the women who train here (including myself) were in Italy racing World Cup and Paralympics.
The race format is very different from our usual races. This race is a dual GS course with 3 bumps in the course that send us into the air. It’s exciting for spectators but really exciting for us. The weather didn’t cooperate as it was snowing really hard throughout the day but it didn’t dampen the excitement. During the qualifying runs I raced really well and actually won the qualifying round. I thought that set me up pretty well to win the race but I had to face my British teammate Liz Miller in the semi-finals and she edged me out by .12 seconds. That put me into the consolation round to race off for 3rd or 4th. I skied well against my teammate Ricci Kilgore but she ran into trouble both runs, and I was able win and take 3rd place. Liz took 2nd after my U.S.D.S.T teammate Elitsa Storey beat her by only .11 seconds in the finals. It was great day of racing and an overall great weekend!