Posted: Jan 18, 2013 10:54 AM by Tara Oster - MTN News
Updated: Jan 18, 2013 11:03 AM
WHITEFISH - The DREAM Adaptive Recreation program has received an unexpected grant that's helping sit-skiers take up the sport at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Three men at the resort are using sit-skis for the very first time on Thursday.
"It's actually been awesome. I've picked up on sit-skiing a lot faster than I thought I would," said Joe Stone.
"It's been pretty fun. I've definitely gone a lot faster than I thought I would so that's kind of cool and nerve-wracking," added Jeffrey Marquis.
"It's fun. It's a blast out here and I'm having a great time," Kolter Beneitone told us.
"We were getting three young men, sit-skiers, back on the snow. They were very active prior to their accidents and they wanted to get back out so we gave them that opportunity," explained DREAM Executive Director Cheri DuBeau.
They had lots of turns and a few falls, but it was mostly triumphs at Whitefish Mountain Resort as Marquis, Stone and Beneitone were all trying sit-skis for the first time.
"I had no idea. I didn't know what to expect. I'd watch YouTube videos and stuff and saw kind of what it was about, but I didn't really know the dynamics of it or how it worked," Beneitone said.
Beneitone snowboarded before he had an accident nearly a year ago, and he was ready to get back on the mountain.
"I'm definitely feeling it. My forearms are pretty pumped up right now."
Marquis, a former employee at Big Mountain, went straight for the summit after being fitted for his sit-ski.
"It feels pretty good. I definitely missed that view and getting out in the sunshine. I've been stuck inside most of the winter," he said.
Stone says he too, spends much of the winter inside.
"You feel pretty trapped with that so to have an outlet like this to be able to come out and actually try it to be able to see if you enjoy it; to see if it's worth getting into - it's unreal what this does for a person in our situation."
Although he's looking forward to more skiing next winter, Stone has his sights set higher for this year. "I start training pretty much right now for an iron man in November."
He added that if he completes the race, he'll be the first quadriplegic to do a full iron man triathlon.
Meanwhile for Beneitone, sit-skiing just might become part of his life every winter.
"I'm looking forward to getting one of my own. I'm definitely ready to take this on just like everything else."
Organizers of the winter program for DREAM Adaptive say they wouldn't be able to help out as many people as they do without the cooperation they've received from Whitefish Mountain Resort.