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Behind every skier, there's a story.

We do it for the love of the run.

There's just something about skiing; it gets a hold of you. That feeling of freedom, those unparalleled mountain views, and the sweet relief of taking your boots off at the end of the day root their way into your very being. For the Love of the Run: Stories from the Slopes encompasses five unique, interactive digital experiences that give you a glimpse into different slices of Colorado ski culture. Whether it’s stepping into the boots of an adaptive skier, exploring the streets of Aspen as a local, goofing off in the terrain park, or racing down the legendary steeps of Crested Butte, For the Love of the Run is all about uncovering how skiing enriches the lives of Coloradans. We hope their stories inspire you to make the most of your time on Colorado's ski slopes.

Hi, I’m Gabby Palko

I’m beyond excited to be here at Winter Park Resort today to hang out with the competitive and recreational National Sports Center for the Disabled programs. I was really honored to have been chosen for this project because my dad was 100% disabled as a result of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He recently passed away, but he was a huge skier.

My amazing dad, Kreg Palko

One of the things that everybody says is that my dad will live on through the things that he taught me, and I think skiing is probably the biggest thing that he could have passed on, so it’s pretty special being out here today.

Speaking of today, I got to spend it with some incredible people.

Meet Tyler Carter

Paralympic Skier

Tyler Carter has been skiing with the National Sports Center for the Disabled since 2007. He’s an alpine ski racer on the U.S. Paralympic team that will be competing 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Meet Kati Leasure

Adaptive Skier

16-year-old Kati Leasure has been skiing with the National Sports Center for the Disabled’s recreational program for the past 12 years. Skiing fast is her favorite part of being on the slopes.

Join me as we start the day

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PART ONE

RISE

Starting the day with Captain America, the extraordinary Tyler Carter

Team USA

Tyler lost the lower part of his right leg as a one-year-old. He learned to ski in his home state of Pennsylvania and joined the NSCD competitive Alpine Ski Team 13 years ago. He competed in the Giant Slalom event at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia and has qualified in Giant Slalom and Slalom for the February 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Dreaming of Gold

“Skiing is freedom. When I first started, no one knew I was disabled because I ski with both of my legs. That was really cool because all my life, people classified me by my disability and put me in a box. With skiing, I’ve been able to go out and just break that box.”

Watch Tyler Race

Tyler’s disability has never held him back, especially on the race course

Training

Tyler follows an intense training regimen. In winter, the team trains on snow, running gates and working on technique twice per day, everyday. They also spend hours in the gym, lifting weights and building cardio endurance.

Summer means intense gym sessions and ski training camps, all in preparation for the 2018 Paralympic Games.

Captain America

As Tyler remembers, the team started calling him Captain America as a joke because he’s a huge fan of the character. But throughout his years with the NSCD competitive team, Tyler has embraced that persona as a supportive teammate and becoming a mentor for young children with disabilities.

"The only limits you set are within your own mind. So for me, ripping some turns and having fun on the slopes is the best thing I could ever think of doing."
– Tyler Carter

My morning getting to know Tyler was amazing, but the highlight of the day was taking turns with an Olympian.

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Reflections

Two of the most important things my dad taught me were to treat everyone equally and to always remember and stay true to who you are. It was so amazing to meet Tyler because he embodies both of those values. When I asked Tyler about the challenges that he had faced growing up with a disability, he explained that people with disabilities often get a lot of sympathy.

Though the sympathy isn’t always a bad thing because people with disabilities do lead a challenging life, he said that he often wished he and people like him were treated more normally. “We’re just like everyone else,” said Tyler, “just a little different.” I was also so inspired by Tyler’s passion for his sport. He’s living his dream. Life is too short; we could all use a little more of that same energy and excitement.

Sometimes, it’s just about the love of the run

Watch Episode 1 Part 1 Now

Spend the afternoon with me and meet Kati

PART TWO

JOY

Meet Kati Leasure

I spent the second half of my day at Winter Park with 16-year-old Kati Leasure, a skier with the recreational program at the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Let me tell you, this girl rips.