If you spend much time at the base of the mountain, tucked back in an alcove between PayDay and First Time lifts, you'll find the National Ability Center's PCMR mountain center.
Since 1985, the National Ability Center has been showing people with disabilities how to adapt and enjoy the benefits of sports and recreation. My own story with the NAC spans a seven-year period and started with the center's founder, Meeche White. In 2008, I was the only competitive para-snowboarder in Utah. Meeche connected me with the able-bodied snowboard team and helped me secure funding for coaching that year. Although we didn't know it at the time, we were creating a moment of change.
Over the next couple of years we recruited several other amputees and hired a team manager. Today, the National Ability Center is home to the largest para-snowboarding competition program in the world. It is also home for four members of the US National Team, including myself.
The National Ability Center has played a consistent role in snowboarding's introduction to the the Paralympics by emphasizing on ability. We all have things that we would like to overcome, but we must have the opportunity to pursue them.
To me, that is what the National Ability Center is about; providing opportunity. Whether you're participating recreationally or professionally, resources are what make sports possible. Without the facilities, the equipment, the guidance, the donations and the community; I would not be the athlete that I am today.
Next time you're visiting the mountain, take a minute to visit us at the National Ability Center and join us on the slopes at Park City Mountain Resort.
Originally from the Pocono’s of Pennsylvania, Travis found his way to Park City three years ago and is now our grooming manager. When not in snowcat you can find him skiing or snowmobiling in the Utah backcountry or enjoying the skiing here at Park City Mountain Resort.
Nicole Roundy is a world class snowboarder on the US Paralympic Team. She is a cancer survivor, inspiration seeker, crossfit training, Park City riding superpower blogger. Follow her adventures right here. You can also spy her on twitter (@nicoleroundy) and Instragram (@nroundy)