Traditional STRIDE Great Adaptive Ski Race Adapted for Pandemic
STRIDE is proud to announce that the 25 year historic annual race will not be cancelled; however it is adapted to adhere to the travel and safety restrictions for the pandemic.
Twenty ski racers with disabilities or special needs from the region will compete in their 25th Annual “Great Race, A Diana Golden Mills Cup Level 1 Adaptive Race” Sunday morning, March 14th, at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock, MA. This heartwarming event is typically a day of monumental achievements that are realized on the race course in front of the Crane lodge at Jiminy Peak in front of a huge crowd of families and spectators; but this year, there are no spectators, no celebratory BBQ and the course has been moved to the race arena off West Way due to Covid-19 rules.
This event is open to all adaptive skiers of any age, skill level and disability who can independently navigate intermediate trails and targeted for youth and young adults to experience the adrenaline and thrill of competition on trails. STRIDE hosts two race teams at Jiminy Peak and Ski Sundown who typically compete in numerous races each year, including Special Olympics. Sadly, most of the races were cancelled this year.
The Great Race has divisions for the Visually Impaired, Blind, Cognitive disabilities, amputees, mobility impaired who use outriggers, seated skiers (wheelchair users), and snowboarders with special needs. STRIDE believes in offering opportunities to compete to anyone challenged with a disability. The participant’s skill levels vary and the course accommodates to all. Many of the students with disabilities have trained all season with STRIDE’s dedicated staff of volunteer ski instructors to reach the starting gate on race day. The race starts at 10:00 am. And offers a run in Giant Slalom and Slalom.
“Both STRDE’s race team members are very excited for an opportunity to conquer the Jiminy Peak Mountain and to compete against each other” said Coach Clif Mark. “We are grateful to have at least, an opportunity for competition, although the pandemic has made it difficult for the usual celebrations accompanying this event.”
STRIDE’s annual race typically serves as a small fundraiser for the organization but 2021 will be different. Registration for the STRIDE athletes is free with thanks to the Killingtonton World Cup Foundation grant supporting the athletes.