Money may thwart Paralympic dreams of local snowboarder

byJenniffer Wardell
Oct 18, 2010 | 883 views | 0 0 comments | | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NICOLE ROUNDY said her group may have trouble getting to compete in the paralympics for financial reasons. The group is based in Park City but has members from Davis County.

NICOLE ROUNDY said her group may have trouble getting to compete in the paralympics for financial reasons. The group is based in Park City but has members from Davis County.

BOUNTIFUL — Sometimes, personal skill isn’t enough to get you to the top of that mountain.

For Bountiful native Nicole Roundy, a childhood cancer survivor, above-the-knee amputee, and medal-winning snowboarder, it’s money that may end up keeping her and her fellow athletes away from the slopes. Though she dreams of getting adaptive snowboarding into the 2014 Paralympics, the loss of their sponsor has left Roundy and her teammates focusing now on how they’re going to get to their next event.

“Money is so tight, and on the disabled side of things it’s even tighter,” said Roundy, who also works as a sleep technician to help pay for her snowboarding. “As for adaptive athletes, we’ve never had a budget. Everything we’ve done up to this point has been on our own pretty pennies.”

Roundy’s “we” includes herself and the three other athletes she travels and trains with. The group includes Dan Monzo, a New Jersey native and a below-knee amputee rider; Jodie Thring, an Australian standing tetraplegic snowboarder ranked No. 3 in the world at Nationals; and Joe Douglas, a wheelchair snowboarder who is highly ranked in both slalom and GS (a snowboarding event).

The group, which is based out of Park city, has set up a website in order to help raise funds for training and competition. Any help is welcome at

“We were hoping that we’d have enough funding to pay for the coaching and opportunities needed to get to the major events this year,” said Roundy, citing a list of competitions that includes the USASA Snowboard Nationals and the X Games in Colorado, international WSF events in Canada and Italy, and the Burton US Open in Vermont.

After a previous season budget she described as “non-existent,” however, and this year’s total absence of a sponsor, getting on the slopes at all will be a challenge.

“When we found out there was going to be even less funding than last year, it kind of put a damper on things,” she said. “Even if we could just come up with the funds for training, or one of the events, it would make such a difference.”

Roundy points to her teammate Thring as an example of just how much of a difference it makes.

“She didn’t have a lot of support in Australia. Before coming here she’d never had a chance to train steady with a coach, which meant that she didn’t have the physical strength to do an event,” she said. “But after getting the chance to train, she ended up third at Nationals. She’s never ranked that high before.”

Roundy’s own leg needs training in order to be prepared for competition, and all of the athletes need resources like transportation and equipment to get them to the competition in the first place.

If the group wants to make their Paralympic dreams come true, they’ll need the chance to take a few of those earlier steps first.

“If you’ve never had the opportunity to compete, how well do you think you’re going to perform without knowing what you’re getting yourself into?” she said. “You need a base if you’re going to perform at this level.”

Read more:Davis County Clipper – Money may thwart Paralympic dreams of local snowboarder

Adapt and Destroy | Transworld Snowboarding

Adapt and Destroy | Transworld Snowboarding

Adaptive Snowboarders Storm Mt. Hood
By Aaron Schultz

At first glance, they look like your average snowboarders. They slide rails, ride the half pipe, float over kickers and trench their carves. But these are no ordinary shreds. One is missing most of her leg, another his vision and the third can’t walk. With the help of a scholarship from the National Ability Center (NAC) these three athletes attended Windells during session one to work on their half pipe and park skills and challenge the definition of snowboarding.

Chris Slavin, 38, from Ipswich, MA lost the use of her legs in a snowboarding accident a year ago and a half ago. During this camp Slavin used a sit-ski and a pair of out riggers – two ski poles with small skis on the bottom of the pole – to help her balance. During the session she learned to slide boxes and was determined to get out of the half pipe, which she did on the last day.

Joey Martinez, 26, from Austin, TX was in an IED explosion in Iraq and now his vision is slowly fading. Currently he can see only a few feet and even then only blurry silhouettes of people and objects. But a person would never know Martinez is legally blind but still stomped boardslides and backside 180s all day.

Nicole Roundy, 22 from Park City, UT is a rider for the Park City Snowboard team. She lost her leg to cancer when she was eight. Up until a few years ago prosthetic knee technology was not advanced enough for people with an amputated leg to freestyle snowboard with any proficiency. With the help of a new type of prosthetic knee, the XT-9, and unmatched determination Roundy not only learned to ride, but was seen stomping nose presses on Windell’s fun boxes.

Props must be given to Windells coach Adam Anderton and the NAC’s Snowboard Program Manager Lucas Grossi. Without Anderton’s creative coaching and laid back style these athletes would not have progressed as quickly. Grossi is the man behind the curtain making sure the campers get to the hill on time, their equipment keeps working and everybody keeps smiling. Grossi knows about adaptive riding first hand because he also uses a prosthetic leg to ride.

For more information about programs for adaptive snowboarders please visit the National Ability Center at or contact Lucas Grossi at

Adaptive to Success, Park City Magazine 2009

Adapting to Success, Park City Magazine.

Adapting to Success

Text: Stephanie Nitsch
Photography by Rebekah Stevens

At first glance, the dark brown portable building sitting slopeside at Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) looks out of place for a classroom. It is far removed from the traditional ideals of school. Inside the portable unit, the warm, damp air reeks of soggy ski boots. Puddles of water accumulate by the door and empty cubby holes indicate that the equipment normally stored there is currently in use. Here at the National Ability Center’s (NAC) ski facility, children and adults spend their time learning in an outdoor environment, which explains the seemingly deserted building.

Home to the world’s largest adaptive ski program, this facility at PCMR provides winter opportunities and adventures for children and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. For many, even native Utahns, this is the first chance to try a winter sport like skiing or snowboarding — not for lack of interest, but for lack of financial or tangible resources.

The NAC is a year-round non-profit organization that offers access to more than 20 recreational programs for people with disabilities. Founded in 1985 by Meeche White and Peter Badewitz, one dream co-existed between the two: to make recreation open to all abilities by providing affordable sports within a supportive community. Many of the NAC’s programs take place in the mountains, where the satellite ski facility is located, but its headquarters and some of its popular activities, such as horseback riding or the indoor climb-ing wall, are located on a private 26-acre ranch, the land generously donated by an anonymous benefactor in 1996.

The winter programs at the NAC enable each participant, whether he/she has developmental disabilities or physical impairments, to uncover his/her own world of self-growth, development, confidence and discovery. Here, ability isn’t measured by a classification system of colored shapes found on trail maps; ability is measured individually. Physical challenges encourage participants to push beyond their physical or mental limits and gauge success by the smiles on their faces.

The National Ability Center promotes self-discovery and helps build self-esteem. We’ve been around for 23 years and want to share our experience and ensure that there are services like the NAC provides across the country,” says the NAC’s new CEO, Dale Schoon, reflecting on the facility’s core mission. Dale replaces Meeche White, co-founder and former CEO of the NAC, and comes from a background of athletic roles, most recently with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association. He is excited to share his passion for outdoor adventures and challenges with each participant. “We want to provide an opportunity to get [people with disabilities] out of their comfort zones. The National Ability Center can help people take a big step toward their dreams, which are getting active and moving forward to be more involved in the community.”

Take, for instance, Allie Schneider, a 19-year veteran of the NAC’s programs. Introduced to the programs at age 4, Allie has become a pioneer in the world’s first adaptive bobsled team, a sport she is lobbying to have included in the Paralympics. “To be in a program that could be part of the Paralympics is really amazing, and it’s an honor to be a part of that history,” she says. She may be the youngest athlete and the only female on the team, but her involvement plays a deeper role within the organization. “I am the Communications and Events Assistant,” Allie notes, speaking of her behind-the-scenes role spreading regional and national awareness about disabled recreation at the NAC. “The National Ability Center has changed the perception that people with disabilities can’t do certain things. Once you come to the NAC and see the participants in the programs, you really see their abilities to do amazing things.”

Of course, “amazing” is just one of the few ways to describe the challenges some of the athletes face. Nicole Roundy, a 22-year-old above-the-knee amputee, began snowboarding at 19 when she decided to switch from skiing. With the help of the NAC, she took snowboard lessons from an instructor at Brighton Ski Resort and soon fell in love with the sport. “It was a long learning curve. But I got into snowboarding, and it became something I could do, and I thought maybe it was something I could be good at, too. I’m stoked to get on the mountain and ride around.” Her commitment and passion to the sport helped her earn silver at the Adaptive Snowboard World Championships in spring 2008, and has put her in a position to help launch a new branch of recreation supported by the NAC. Adaptive snowboarding’s new home has already drawn interest from winter supporters and people with disabilities interested in learning to ride. “I would love to see more disabled women get involved,” adds Allie.

Whether the NAC is creating new programs or supporting its longer-running sports, its athletes have consistently placed among the top ranks of competitive teams. Greg Shaw, an 18-year-old member of the Park City sled hockey program, brought home the inaugural title for the Western Sled Hockey League with the rest of his team in early 2008. While Greg has worked his way to the U.S. Disabled National Team only two years after coming on board, it’s perhaps the personal victories he’s most proud of. “When we’ve played a hard match and come off the ice, I’m just overwhelmed. I never thought I’d play a team sport.”

Local as these athletes may be, the NAC has become a landmark within recreational communities all over the country, expanding far beyond its support in Park City. Founded on dreams and dedication, the organization’s principle mission has single-handedly helped thousands of individuals develop personally and incorporate positive changes within their lives. And it is the same community of individuals that has made the NAC’s dream come true, turning its goals into reality and shaping new opportunities for future generations to discover.

Stephanie Nitsch is a Park City local who enjoys playing, eating and writing about snow.

Shayboarder Interview

Industry Profile: USASA Adaptive Athlete Nicole Roundy

July 9th, 2009

Shay: So tell us about yourself?
Nicole: I’m a 23 year old one-legged snowboarder and outdoor recreational enthusiast in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Shay: What is your job title?
Nicole: Snowboarder! To fund the habit, I’m a Polysomnographer. Aka, Sleep Tech. I help diagnose and treat sleeping disorders.

Shay: How did you get into competiting in USASA?
Nicole: Adaptive Action Sports, a non-profit out of California contacted me and talked me into trying it out. I had NO idea what I was getting into!


Shay: Did your parents question your job choice?
Nicole: Never, my parents have been supportive from day one. I don’t think they’ll be surprised if I ditch the medical field and evolve into the industry.

Shay: What was your first set up?
Nicole: 143 Sims with step-in-bindings.

Shay: What is your current set up?
Nicole: 149 Capita Saturnia

Shay: What was your first job?
Nicole: Concessions at a movie theatre, I was 14.

Shay: What’s a great day of snowboarding to you?
Nicole: Any day you throw down something new or dial in something you’ve been working on, or just shred really hard and have a blast. So most days.

Shay: Who are your influences?
Nicole: There are so many awesome snowboarders and amazing people that have created the soul of this sport, many of whom you’ll never read about in Transworld; that’s who influences me. I owe a lot to Tye McDonough for giving me a chance and helping me stick with it. Most of my family and friends aren’t really involved in the industry so when I meet people who are, its exciting for me.

Shay: How long have you been snowboarding?
Nicole: 5 years

Shay: How long have you been competing?
Nicole: 4 years

Shay: How many days do you get to ride a year?
Nicole: Never enough, 100 or so.


Shay: What makes you different from the other athletes?
Nicole: Um, I only have one knee and one foot. I didn’t know board sports even existed before I lost my leg so I think that sets me apart from the most of the adaptive crew.

Shay: What is it like competing in USASA?
Nicole: Competing is about having fun in a controlled environment and being consistent. In Regionals, I don’t really have a competitor so I start comparing myself to everyone else and I end up being very critical of my own riding. Nationals is where I get to compete against other adaptive snowboarders. I’ve become good friends with most of the riders it’s a lot of fun to hit up USASA at the end of the season and see who’s improved and kills it.

Shay: Is competing in snowboarding more about talent or hard work?
Nicole: Talent plays its part, but Hard work is what gives it strength. In the adaptive world, there aren’t really a lot of dedicated snowboarders. By dedicated I mean, they put in the days on snow, train, compete, do what it takes. Snowboarding is hard, throw a fake leg into the mix and we’re talking serious business.

Shay: What’s your favorite competition to attend?
Nicole: I think you should rephrase that to: What competition would you like to attend? I wouldn’t mind a run through the X-games pipe. I want to hit up the US Open in Stratton, VT, and I’m hoping to witness the Grenade games too.

Shay: What is competing like behind the scenes?
Nicole: Hurry up and wait. They tell you to be there at a certain time and then they are ahead or behind schedule so they tell you another time. Sometimes the waiting can make you nervous, but then it’s your turn, everything comes together, and you get this adrenaline rush.


Shay: What do you think makes a good coach?
Nicole: You can’t replace a real leg or the way it functions, so it’s important for a coach to be creative and be able to consider limitations. Patience, persistence and great communication skills are mandatory.

Shay: What’s your trick of choice?
Nicole: Uh oh. Since I focused and started dialing in my prosthetic and mechanics, I’ve just kept it simple and sweet. Straight air, boardslide and Front 1.

Shay: Do you have any sponsors?
Nicole: Challenged Athletes Foundation(CAF) and the National Ability Center made my season happen. Ossur USA for prosthetics and Symbiotechs USA designed my snowboard knee. Thanks to the local rep, the CAPITA-UNION-COAL-686 gang helped me out this season. New equipment was not in my budget so thanks a million!

Shay: How is working with your sponsors?
Nicole: CAF is a foundation that gives grants to “challenged” athletes once a year. The National Ability Center gives grants to members of its teams and once in awhile they receive private donations for specific athletes. I have to submit an application several months in advance for both. Ossur USA and Symbiotechs have been there when I needed them so that’s super cool.

Shay: What is your favorite mountain to ride?
Nicole: I really loved Big Sky, Montana. Park City is my home though.


Shay: How do you progress you own riding?
Nicole: My third season I rode alone a lot, so I didn’t really progress and that was frustrating. The next season I talked the director of the Park City Snowboard Team into letting me ride with them. I really had to step back at that point and work on some basics. Things, like ollies and grabs are really hard when you only have one knee that you can lift up. I returned to the team this season and I’m stoked with my progression.

Shay: What do you do in the off-season?
Nicole:Wakeboard, kayak, hike, downhill mountain bike, take college classes, work, chill, all that good stuff.

Shay: What are some memorable experiences from competiting?
Nicole:Halfpipe 2006 USASA, I had NEVER ridden a pipe before and everyone’s like, doesn’t matter, just try it. It was a disaster, but a lot of fun.

Canadian Nationals 2009, I FINALLY got to use my passport.

USASA Regional 2009, Slopestyle. My two legged competitor only beat me by .01 of a point or something like that. It was close.

USASA Nationals 2009, Giant Slalom. After my first run the Canadian coach walked up to my coach and says: “I didn’t know Nicole could race!”

Shay: What’s a typical day in your life?
Nicole: Wake-up, stretch, eat, snowboard, shower, chill with family/friends, sleep. Half the week I replace the snowboard factor with work.

Shay: What are some other activities you do outside of snowboarding?
Nicole: Photography and Graphic Design, I still play the piano on occasion, and I have a DVR these days. I’ve never been a homebody though so I’m usually out and about doing the “off season activities.”

Shay: You have your own website and blog focused on you as a rider, what were the reasons behind starting those?
Nicole: It got really hard to try and keep everyone updated so I created a central place for people to go. It also gives me a place to thank everyone for their support and provide a reference for other riders.


Shay: Do you see social media as an important tool to reaching out to snowboarders?
Nicole: The industry is growing fast and as more people get involved I think its becoming increasingly important to have a good blend of both the old fashioned ways and the advantages of technology. Social Media isn’t for everyone but it can be a great tool to help others stay connected.

Shay: What would you like to see improve with adaptive sports and snowboarding?
Nicole: I would love to see more adaptive riders that are dedicated and really want to push the sport. Only about a handful of us are focused on that. We’ve only had a few opportunities to demo in “two-legger” events and it’s usually the same people that get to ride because the others haven’t had the opportunity to progress that far yet.

Shay: What do you think the industry should do to welcome and bring in new snowboarders?
Nicole: Being part of the Park City Snowboard Team has been the most positive experience for me. There are adaptive “learn to ride” programs and camps across the country but once the individuals complete the program that’s it, there’s nothing bridging the gap to a competition level. The only reason I still snowboard is because my instructor went out of his way to help me keep riding. It doesn’t have to be anything that big but just be open to the idea that someone with one leg, or arm, or partial paralysis might want to do more than link turns. They are capable of doing more so why not give them a chance?

Shay: What’s the best perk you’ve gotten from competing?
Nicole: Competing is a challenge and I enjoy it. It gives me an incentive to get better, to keep riding and really test the limits. It gives me confidence. I think that’s a great perk!

Shay: Any disadvantages of competing?
Nicole: They don’t and can’t take disability into consideration so it doesn’t matter if my competitor has a MAJOR physical advantage over me we’re still judged as if we we’re the same. Guess I just have to charge harder.

Shay: Since you started snowboarding, what’s been the biggest change?
Nicole: The biggest thing for me as a rider was self-esteem and confidence. Being a cancer survivor isn’t easy, especially when it leaves you with scars that remind you every single day of what you once were. Cancer taught me how to be strong but I hadn’t really figured out how to move on. Through high school I found “refuge” in work and classes. Life just wasn’t fun. Then snowboarding came into the picture and I re-discovered what I could be capable of. I chose to chase a dream and it’s been a rough road; but exciting and fun and constantly surprising.


Shay: What’s the busiest time of year for you?
Nicole: January thru April. Comp season.

Shay: Any upcoming competitions or travels you are looking forward to?
Nicole: New Zealand National Championships, July 26th-31st. I’ll be plunging into the top ramen when I get back, but I’ve already decided I’m going. As of right now, I will be the only rider from the USA to compete alongside Canada, Italy, Australia, France and the Netherlands.

Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Nicole: Experience because it is education. Don’t get me wrong, school is cool, but there are a lot of things you can’t learn from books. The most successful people are the ones that are brave enough to stick out rather than blend in.

Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to compete in snowboarding?
Nicole: Do it, love it, have fun. Don’t hold yourself back because you think you’re not good enough. Everyone starts somewhere and you can’t expect to win your first competition, or even the tenth. Be patient and work hard.

Shay: Final Thoughts?
Nicole: PEOPLE magazine just said that fanny packs are back! Seriously?!

NZ World Champs: Press Release

First Ever World Snowboard Federation Adaptive Snowboard World Championships

WANAKA — July 30, 2009 — Canada’s Tyler Mosher took gold today at the World’s first ever World Snowboard Federation (WSF) Adaptive Snowboard World Championships, held at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Competitors from five different countries took part in the sling-shot Snowboardcross race, the premier event during the 2009 Adaptive Snow Sports Festival and National Championships.

Tyler Mosher. Credit Jane Sinclair

Mosher, who clocked a combined time of 75.99 travelled all the way from Canada for the event.

“It is anyone’s game, and was a tough competition. I’m so honored,” said Mosher. “I wasn’t snowboarding that well leading into the event, so I was happy to push that aside for the race.”

Mosher expressed thanks to the event volunteers and the event crew for putting all the time and effort into making the event a huge success.

Silver went to New Zealand’s Carl Murphy (New Plymouth) with a time of 78.25, while third place taken by New Zealand born Ian Lockey, representing Canada, who clocked 78.66 seconds only .41 seconds behind Murphy.

Men’s World Championships Podium. Credit T.C.Smiley

“The course and set up was awesome. It’s really nice to be able to compete and get silver in the biggest event of the year at my back door.” said Murphy.

The first ever Women’s Adaptive Snowboard World Champion, posting a time of 77.88 was Bibian Mentel from The Netherlands.

“It’s fantastic to be here in New Zealand. The course was great – nice and fluent. I have a hectic schedule at home so am flying back on Sunday to be with my family again.”

Second place went to USA’s Nicole Roundy who finished in 89.34 seconds. Australian Jodie Thring placed third with 122.46.

Women’s Podium. Photo credit T.C. Smiley

World Champions Mosher and Mentel were presented with a greenstone toki necklace symbolising leadership and power. This design was traditionally worn by Maori chiefs to symbolise status.

The New Zealand Snowboard Union is a member of Snow Sports New Zealand. Snow Sports New Zealand is the official governing body and National Sports Organisation representing all snow sports in New Zealand.

WSF Adaptive Snowboard World Championships Reults.

Adaptive skiing or snowbaording refers to a modified version of the sport, which adapts in equipment, rules, and technical specifications that enable persons with physical disabilities to participate in both recreational and competitive activities. Athletes compete based on their functional ability, allowing athletes with different disabilities to compete against each other.

The WSF is the only international organisation dedicated exclusively to the development and support of snowboard at all levels, including competitive as well as training levels, snowboarding for disabled, and initiatives for riders of any age. The WSF is a network of international snowboard associations which cooperate all over the world aiming at the development of this sport. Le nations members of the WSF find in it an inspiration source and a support to their activities. The WSF can create added value for all those who practise snowboarding at an international level and it offers ideas, manuals and initiatives. As a result, members are united in a widespread organization with the same objective, that is the progression of snowboard at all levels.



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