NASTAR is an easy outlet that provides many people with the opportunity to click back into their old GS or slalom skis and hop in some gates for the day. Some take the time to gather teams and compete against comrades with the undertone of friendly competition. For adaptive athletes, ski racing with NASTAR takes on a whole new meaning. When NASTAR and Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) joined forces two years ago, they had a joint goal of increasing the racing opportunities for adaptive skiers and snowboarders. So far, it’s working wonders for the racing community.  

NASTAR offers adaptive categories that disabled athletes use when they register to race. Just like all other disciplines, adaptive skiers and riders can compare their results to the national team, recreational racers and national adaptive pacesetters.

Take the U.S. Paralympic team, for example. NASTAR is able to expand their outreach for the sport of adaptive ski racing across the entire USA.

“Any athlete with a disability can test their racing ability against the best in the country,” said Kevin Jardine, Director of High Performanc at Paralympic Alpine Skiing and Snowboard. “The top skiers from the United States attended the National Pacesetting Trials and NASTAR racers can race against the top United States athletes in visually impaired, standing and sitting categories at their home mountains.”

NASTAR was created to provide recreational racers with an opportunity to compete and to compare their scores against friends and family members regardless of when and where they race. NASTAR’s partnership with DSUSA along with the U.S. Paralympic Team does just this for the adaptive sports community.

“For NASTAR, it’s about expanding the program and providing opportunities for adaptive athletes. NASTAR is a social network and we are using the program to connect athletes with a common scoring system regardless of where they race,” said Director of NASTAR Bill Madsen. “Whether it be for Special Olympians with cognitive disabilities or for people who are potentially athletes for the U.S. Paralympic Team, NASTAR and DSUSA work together to identify those people and provide opportunities for them.”

The collaboration means competitors can head to any NASTAR affiliated resort and simply sign up to race.

“We’re trying to provide adaptive athletes with the tools they need so it’s easier for them to run gates and compare their times with the best in the nation,” noted Madsen.

It’s an exciting opportunity to be able to foster the adaptive sports community with a broader outreach of ski resorts at which to compete and train. If you’re an adaptive sport athlete or have a friend who is, we can’t wait to see you all out there at the next NASTAR race!