Blind Teens Hit the Slopes At Wisp Resort - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Blind Teens Hit the Slopes At Wisp Resort

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Winter sports are often billed as a fun activity for everyone, and Tuesday students from the Maryland School of the Blind truly proved that.

Laurel Kirby, 16, is a Freshman at the Maryland School for the blind. Her premature birth left her with little vision.

"Because I had to be on so much oxygen when I was born, my retinas detached," she said. "They were able to get some of the vision back in the left eye, but my right eye stopped growing and I became totally blind in my right eye."

But her condition doesn't stop her from enjoying a cool afternoon on the slopes.

"My very fist time I was a little nervous ay first, said Kirby. "Last year, I skied backwards and almost fell but I caught myself. Today I did really well."

Bumps, turns and other skiers present obstacles to people who can see. And if you can't it requires guides to get you down safely. 

"You have to talk to them, do a lot of communication as you go down, like, it's getting steep here so you need to snowplow, or we're going down a really steep hill, or we're going around a really sharp turn," said Rachael Huxford. "They relay on you a lot and that's not something kids our age are used to."

Those guides are local teens from Garret County schools who volunteer for the program, which is sponsored by the Deep Creek Lions Club.

"It's really fun and they definitely have a go-to attitude," said Huxford. "And that's all that really matters."

Despite the guides, the skiing is far from easy.

"There is this one position where you have to standup straight, and that's to get good speed," said Kirby. "And to slow you down you bend your knees which is really hard do to especially when your on a steep hill.

But it's always fun.

"It's a really good experience," she added. "Normally I just ice skate but I get to ski, and I'm the only person in my family who can ski."

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