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March 21, 2011 (Girdwood, Alaska) – The U.S. Adaptive Ski Team will be heading north this season to Alyeska Resort for the 2011 U.S. Adaptive Alpine Championships. The event is scheduled for March 22 - 27, 2011 and the resort anticipates close to 40 athletes, 40 staff and family members, and countless numbers of local volunteers who will be crucial to the success of the weeklong event.
In partnership with the U.S. Paralympics and local organization, Challenge Alaska, Alyeska Resort is proud to host for the first time its history the U.S. Adaptive Alpine Championships. The alpine disciplines represented during the races include the same events that are contested in Olympic competition: downhill, slalom, giant slalom and super-G.
Paralympic alpine skiing competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. With a rich heritage, downhill racing started as a demonstration event at the 1980 Paralympic Games in Geilo, Norway. Giant slalom was first a demonstration event in 1984. The U.S. Paralympics champions a message that daily physical activity enhances not only an individual's self-esteem and peer relationships, but also results in increased achievement, better overall health, and higher quality of life. Their goal is to support individuals with physical disabilities through education, sports programs and partnerships with community organizations, medical facilities and government agencies. Accordingly to their website, there are more than 21 million Americans with a physical disability with increasing numbers in recent years as a result of military personnel who have sustained serious injuries during active duty.
"Alyeska Resort is proud to be the host venue of the 2011 U.S. Adaptive Alpine Championships," said Alyeska Resort Ski Area General Manager Di Hiibner. "Our experience with the U.S. Alpine Championships in 2004, 2007 and 2009 was so positive, and it will be quite rewarding to be able to contribute to the success of the Adaptive Championships and all the athletes in this upcoming week.”
Opening ceremony festivities are scheduled for Thursday, March 24 and will include a special fireworks show around 9:30 P.M. The fireworks will be best viewed from The Hotel Alyeska. All races during the event are open to the public for viewing. The tentative 2011 U.S. Adaptive Alpine Championships Schedule (subject to change) is as follows:
March 23, Downhill
March 24, Super G
March 25, Super Combined
March 26, Slalom
March 27, Giant Slalom
The 2011 U.S. Adaptive Alpine Championships will conclude on Sunday, March 27 with the giant slalom and closing ceremonies in the evening. For a complete schedule of events, please visit www.AlyeskaResort.com.
About U.S. Paralympics (www.usparalympics.org) U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with physical disabilities. Since its formation in 2001, U.S. Paralympics has been inspiring Americans to achieve their dreams. Through education, sports programs and partnerships with community organizations, medical facilities and government agencies, U.S. Paralympics is making a difference in the lives of thousands of physically disabled people every day.
About Challenge Alaska (www.challengealaska.org)
Challenge Alaska improves the quality of life for people with disabilities and the whole community through adaptive sports, therapeutic recreation, and education. Participation in Challenge Alaska's programs helps people break down the barriers that may exist for them in many aspects of life. We accomplish this by building confidence and security, creating an infrastructure for support, increasing mobility, and improving health. CA's mission promotes education, social development and involvement, employment, and the ultimate goal of independence. About Alyeska Resort (www.alyeskaresort.com)
Alyeska Resort is Alaska's premier year-round destination featuring The Hotel Alyeska, an award-winning 304 room full-service property. Located just 40 miles from Anchorage and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alyeska Resort is your base camp for summer and winter excursions. The resort is within close proximity of three national parks and the Kenai Peninsula, and is home to the northernmost temperate rainforest, part of the Chugach Mountains. Alyeska Resort stands out in ski season with 650” of average snowfall annually and the longest-continuous double black diamond ski run in North America. Learn more about the resort and plan your Alaskan adventure at www.alyeskaresort.com or 800-880-3880.
"It is a spectacular resort with challenging courses," said Adaptive Program Director Sandy Metzger. "Alyeska has run the U.S. Alpine Championships for our able-bodied counterparts and always put on a first-class event."