Paradox Sports is pleased to announce the third annual gathering of Gimps On Ice in Ouray Colorado on March 12th, 13th and 14th, 2010. Over the weekend 15 disabled athletes will descend on the Uncompahgre Gorge in Ouray Colorado to face the mile of vertical ice in the gorge, learning about the specialized equipment and techniques needed climb vertical waterfalls. Men and women who are missing limbs or eyes or the use of their legs will gather to challenge themselves physically and mentally and, especially to challenge the common perception that an amputee is handicapped or that a blind person must, by default, lead a second-rate life. Malcolm Daly, Executive Director and amputee, puts it succinctly: "Ice is the great equalizer. None of us can climb it without adaptive equipment. We just go one step further."
About Paradox Sports, participants and the Ouray Ice Park
Paradox Sports was created by an eclectic group of individuals with a common desire to integrate the physically disabled into the outdoor community by providing inspiration, opportunities, and the adaptive equipment needed to participate in human-powered outdoor sports. It is the brainchild of Army Captain DJ Skelton and professional climber Timmy O'Neill. DJ was wounded in Iraq and is still on active duty AND works as an advocate for wounded soldiers returning from Iraq. Timmy travels the world as an entertainer, climber, and ambassador for the outdoor industry. The common bond of loving the outdoors and wanting to share it with others, regardless of physical limitations, is what brought them together.
Christa Brelsford is a Ph.D. student at Arizona State University's School of Sustainability. She is also one of the strongest local, female rock climbers. Christa recently lost her right leg below the knee in the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010. She was volunteering with her brother Julian Brelsford at Heads for Haiti, adult literacy project near Port-au-Prince. She is a strong, resilient, intelligent, and amazing young woman. KeepChristaClimbing.org is a fundraising group which has been instrumental in her return to studies, volunteering, and climbing.
The Ouray Ice Park was opened in 1995 as the world's first park devoted exclusively to the sport of ice climbing. A small band of local volunteers and business owners developed the Park utilizing a unique set of assets found perhaps only in Ouray: a one-hundred-foot-deep, mile-long gorge that descends right into town. Over the past 14 years, the park has grown to become the largest ice climbing park in the world and attracts climbers from all over the world.
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Photo Credit: Claudia Lopez. Teens Heidi and Sydney meet March 2009 and bond through climbing.