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Jackson Hole, WY News

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'More than playing in the snow'

Adaptive skiers and JHMR program hope to increase accessibility this winter and in the future for others.

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Joe Stone

When Joe Stone goes cross-country skiing in his adaptive gear, with his faithful service dog, George, there’s a true sense of freedom and independence, something Stone craves.

“Adaptive Nordic skiing gives me freedom to explore places that my everyday wheelchair could never go. It allows me to exercise and opens up a unique opportunity to connect with our community,” said Stone, who broke eight vertebrae in his neck and back in a speed-gliding crash in Montana in 2010. “It’s more than just playing in the snow. Adaptive Nordic skiing has completely raised the quality of my life in the winter.

Joe Stone

Reaching from inside his van, Joe Stone readies his Nordic sit ski equipment last Wednesday at Emily Stevens Park. Unlike downhill skiing in a monoski, Stone is able to go Nordic skiing without assistance. “Adaptive Nordic skiing gives me freedom to explore places that my everyday wheelchair could never go,” Stone said.

Joe Stone

Moving through the fresh powder along Emily Stevens Park trail, Joe Stone makes a quick excursion before work Wednesday morning. “We have some great trails around here — other areas have really hilly terrain, but here we have a great trail system that is mostly flat, making it more inclusive,” Stone said.

Pierre Bergman

Adaptive ski instructor Pierre Bergman, front left, and student John Zendler prepare to ski down Lower Werner with guides Alex Rienzie, back left, and Jandi Maxwell.

Pierre Bergman

Adaptive skier Pierre Bergman skis down Lower Werner on Thursday at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Bergman has embraced sit skiing after breaking his spine in a mountain biking crash on Teton Pass in 2020.

adaptive skiers

Instructor Audrey Lloyd works with Hailey Burger.

Contact Penny Nakamura through the sports editor at 732-7065 or sports@jhnewsandguide.com.

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