Cross-country or Nordic skiing is a great activity with all-round health benefits. Even muscles that don’t seem to be in use are actively involved to balance and coordinate the entire body. Burns lots of calories. Nordic skiing burns more calories than any other form of exercise or sport — up to 1,122 calories per hour for vigorous mountaineering! Improves cardiovascular endurance and health.
We have chosen to participate in the annual week-long Ski for Light events. Skiing. Sharing. Learning. The mission of Ski for Light is to enhance the quality of life and independence of visually or mobility-impaired adults through a program of cross-country skiing.
We formed Ski for Light Team Texas in the fall of 2016. We participated in our first Ski for Light event in January 2017 with 6 members attending at Snow Mountain Ranch, Granby, CO. One member, Cuqui Soto, received the 2017 Jans Haug award presented to first time disabled skier who has shown real enthusiasm and potential for the sport of cross country skiing. The award consists of a full ski package of skis, boots, and poles. Awards won by other Team Texas members included 1st Place Men’s Rally – Michael McCulloch and 2nd Place Women’s Rally – Alma Balleza. See Team Texas 2017 photos.
In 2018, Team Texas sent 13 members to the Ski for Light event at Taho Donner in Truckee, CA. Once again, one member of Team Texas, Yolanda Shaw (Austin), was awarded the 2018 Jans Haug award. Awards won by other Team Texas members included 1st Place Women’s Rally – Bonnie Vegiard, 2nd Place Men’s Rally – Michael McCulloch and 3rd Place Women’s Rally – Debra Williams. See Team Texas 2018 photos.
In 2019, there were 18 participants attending Ski for Light for Team Texas. The event was again held at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, CO. Awards from the 5K Rally included third place (Alma Balleza) in women under 57 partially sighted and first (Mary Alice Gary), second (Young Jackson), and third (LouAnn Williams) for women over 57 partially sighted. For the men, we got second (Tim Dawson) and third (Patrick Rooney) for men under 57 partially sighted; and second (Michael McCulloch) and third (Henry Diecker) for men over 57 partially sighted. This is a real testament to the quality of the sighted guides that we had. See Team Texas 2019 photos.
In 2020, Team Texas sent 19 participants to Ski for Light held in Casper, WY. It was a really crazy week for weather when a couple of days saw the ski mountain having to be closed due to high winds exceeding 50 mph and roads not being passable. Ski busses that were already in route were caught on the icy roads for hours. With the “no ski” days, the SFL programs committee quickly came to the rescue with a number of creative alternate activities. Fortunately, the weather cleared at the end of the week for the race/rally and everyone had an amazing time. See Team Texas 2020 photos.