Disabled camp attracts Chilean hopeful | VailDaily.com

Disabled camp attracts Chilean hopeful

Ryan Slabaugh

Today is Day 3 of the tutorial, held near Lionshead on the Born Free run, and will get down to the nitty-gritty. Video will be analyzed. Form will be criticized. With gates in place, Will says, the errors in the 10 trainees’ techniques will be amplified.

“Chris Waddell (a monoskier from Utah) and I saw a void between the learn-to-ski programs and the ski-race programs,” Will said. “We’re teaching the basics of skiing all the way to describing how and why the ski is designed the way it is. But racing is not the emphasis.”

With two scholarships in place for hopeful disabled athletes, word of the camp reached all the way to Santiago, Chile. A 22-year-old Chilean made his first visit to Vail Sunday hoping to be the founding father of the first Chilean Disabled Ski Team. It doesn’t exist, yet, but Tomas Del Villar is hoping, along with training tips, that he might find a philanthropic soul in the valley to help him fund a trip to Europe to compete next year. With enough World Cup points, he could qualify for the Paralympics without being a wild card, which is how he raced last year in Salt Lake City. With enough points, he could have more leverage in claiming to be the sole member of his national team.

“I think the key is money,” said Del Villar, who will be in Vail until Dec. 20. “There’s nothing like this in Chile. There’s very few people that do things in the winter. They’re no sports, nothing.”

So he’s in town for a little chalk-talk with one of the best disabled skiers in the country. Will, who’s been nominated for an ESPY, will continue her camp through Thursday. With the help of Vail Associates and Marriott, Will said she will have her camp next year the week after Thanksgiving.

Call 926-8041 or e-mail Will at imonski@vail.net to register.

Ryan Slabaugh is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at rslabaugh@vaildaily.com.

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