Wintergreen Nonprofit Gets New Equipment for Disabled Skiers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Wintergreen Nonprofit Gets New Equipment for Disabled Skiers

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Student Savanna Stout using bi-ski Student Savanna Stout using bi-ski
Ski season is upon us, and people are starting to hit the slopes at full force this month. At Wintergreen Resort, one group of riders is getting a big boost from an expensive piece of equipment.

Wintergreen Adaptive Sports is a nonprofit that provides programs, lessons, and equipment to help disabled people enjoy the outdoors. The program now has a new tool that's allowing disabled skiers to ride the slopes like never before.

"We were fortunate to get a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which does a lot of great work to help people with spinal cord injuries and other related problems," said David Shreve, executive director of Wintergreen Adaptive Sports. 

The $5,638 Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation helped purchase a new "bi-ski"- or bucket with two skis attached.

Student Savanna Stout has been skiing since age five. "I pretty much come out here either every weekend or every other weekend," she said. With the help of Wintergreen Adaptive Sports, she can glide through the snow even though she has spina bifida.

"We found out about this program and we came down and they took me out and I've been coming out ever since," said Stout.

Now, Stout has a new device to get her down the slopes. Stout had a bi-ski before, but the new bi-ski at Wintergreen Adaptive Sports is the first of its kind - with a suspension system to absorb the shock of racing down the mountain.

"This ski is kind of interesting because it's kind of the next step in the evolution of bi-skis," said one of Stout's instructors.

"It gives them a different, customized, super ride down the slope," added Shreve.

For Stout, whether she's on her old bi-ski or the new one that provides a smoother ride, she's just excited to be out on the slopes as often as she can. "Oh it's fun. It's really fun," she said. "I get to go out and have a good time and hang out with friends and ski."

Next month, Wintergreen Adaptive Sports is hosting a "Snowfest" featuring snow sports, adaptive ski demonstrations, live music and special film showing. Snowfest takes place January 11 and January 12 and proceeds from ski lift tickets will benefit the nonprofit.

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