National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic commences in Snowmass |

National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic commences in Snowmass

Snowmass Village is home to the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic this week for its 17th consecutive season.

The winter sports clinic, hosted by both the Disabled American Veterans organization and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, is the largest rehabilitative program of its kind in the world.

By providing disabled veterans the opportunity to participate in several adaptive sports and activities — including kayaking, curling, fly-fishing, bowling, scuba diving, hockey, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing and sledding — the clinic challenges and empowers veterans to reach new limits, said David Riley, national commander for Disabled American Veterans.

“The only limits we have, as disabled veterans, are the ones we put on ourselves,” said Riley, a retired Coast Guard rescue swimmer and quadruple amputee. “But limits are made to be broken.”

Steven Wilson, a Disabled American Veterans spokesperson, said, “That’s really what this clinic does.”

“Imagine being deployed overseas and suffering a life-changing injury, and thinking the active lifestyle that military people enjoy has been altered forever, along with your independence and your personal and professional goals,” Wilson said.

“This clinic gives all that back to you.”

Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler, an avid supporter of the clinic who’s penned letters in the local newspapers asking people to support the organization, said she hopes “every single person in the community engages in conversation with these veterans.”

“Their stories are heart-warming,” said Butler, noting that she “spent about four hours talking with veterans” Sunday.

The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports will be based in Snowmass, with a few events in Aspen, through Friday evening.

Visit​schedule for a complete breakdown of this week’s events.

For a more in-depth look at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, check the Snowmass Sun, online and on newsstands Wednesday.

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