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Disabled Skiers Converge On Breckenridge

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Ben Parkinson from England (credit: CBS)

Ben Parkinson from England (credit: CBS)

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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) -There are a lot of inspiring scenes this week as disabled skiers from around the globe gather in Breckenridge. They’re participating in what has become tradition at the resort.

More skiers than ever are there this year. For many of the 800 participants, they’ll be learning to live with their disabilities for the first time.

Ben Parkinson is a beginner on the sit-ski.

“This is his second day; doing great,” instructor Fred Kohout said.

Parkinson came all the way from northern England. A traumatic brain injury keeps him in a wheelchair, but that can’t stop him on the snow.

“I always get out of this a lot more than I give,” Kohout said. “I’m trying to teach them to ski, but you know what? They teach me about life.”

Kirk Bauer with Disabled Sports USA lost his leg to a grenade in Vietnam. He’s now executive director of the program he and so many others have used to used to rediscover themselves.

“The first time as an amputee I was on a ski and I loved it so much; I skied so hard I couldn’t move the next day,” Bauer said. “It’s a confidence builder. It lets them know there’s going to be life after disability.”

A good portion of the participants are former service men and women. More than 100 of them are wounded warriors.

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