Nancy Stevens has a rare blend of enthusiasm, grit, and optimism that makes for an incredible adaptive athlete. Nancy is first and foremost an incredible climber, biker, and triathlete who just happens to be blind. Nancy doesn’t see obstacles in her path, figuratively and literally. She is always up for an adventure and most of the time she is the one to suggest the adventure in the first place. Teton Adaptive Sports has been partnering with Nancy for the last three years and in the summer of 2013 we worked together with her and Exum Mountain Guides to complete the first female blind ascent of the Grand Teton. Imagine going to your front mailbox without sight, now picture climbing a 13,700 ft peak with boulders the size of trucks in your way. It has been a great honor partnering with Nancy on her past adventures and hopefully for many more to come.
You would have to have a heart of stone to not smile anytime Henry Menolascino walked into a room. Henry is one of our longest running local athletes in the ski program. Year after year, Henry continues to develop his skills on the ski slope and soon enough we will not have any instructors that can keep up with him. Not only is Henry a skier, but he also took part in our bike learn to ride program, which means the training wheels are coming off and freedom is right around the corner. Henry is a frequent visitor to all TAS events and the day wouldn’t be complete without his smile around.
Li Dunbar isn’t your average child athlete. Although, you wouldn’t notice a difference between him and any athlete his age. The difference is that Li has taken a little bumpier road to develop his athletic talents than most. Li was adopted from China at the age of three with Bilateral Clubfoot and Bilateral Hip Dysplasia. Until his fourth birthday, Li wasn’t able to walk and only crawled. To date he has had 5 surgeries and continues with his physical therapy. However, now a days, you would never have guessed Li’s past as he races past you on downhill skis or paddles away from you in a kayak. According to Li’s Father, Steve Dunbar, “participating in TAS activities has been instrumental in his physical recovery and in developing Li’s self confidence.” Teton Adaptive Sports is so privileged to be inspired by Li’s resilience and we always enjoy seeing his smile at any one of our events.
Paul Schafer would make any serious skier envious with his skills on the mountain. Paul can ski double black diamonds with ease and no conditions are too hard for him to conquer. Besides wearing a bright fluorescent bid saying “BLIND SKIER” on it, one would never be able to differentiate Paul from any other local skier on the hill. To Paul, any day on the mountain is a good day, just ask one of his ski guides who he drags out onto the slopes in any and all conditions. Paul is an eternal optimist whose love for skiing is seconded only by the positive aura that follow him around. A day skiing with Paul is similar to walking around with Tom Cruise, everyone wants to shake his hand and get a picture. Teton Adaptive Sports is lucky that Paul trusts us to guide him around the mountain because every time we are with him its a day to remember.