Coloradans help adaptive skiers get back on the slopes after their gear was stolen

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WINTER PARK, Colo. — Mark Urich and Jane Sowerby are gliding on the slopes once again. Just a month after they thought their season was over, they are free to roam Winter Park.

“Being on snow, getting some fresh air, getting some sunshine today, it is so nice!” Urich said. “Everyone was so awesome to help us get back to what we love doing.”

Sowerby and Urich both use adaptive skies to get around the mountain. Their personalized skis were stolen in January, along with their car. The customized skis normally take months to replace.

But thanks to the generosity of Denver7 viewers through Denver7 Gives, and numerous adaptive companies, they are back on the slopes in record time.

DynAccess, an adaptive ski company out of Pennsylvania, worked with Denver7 to quickly replace the stolen skis. Enabling Technology out of Denver then outfitted the skis with outriggers and customized technology. Other companies also helped out, including Colorado companies BW Welding and Aspen Seating.

“It’s really been overwhelming, and we really appreciate it,” Sowerby said. “So, thank you for giving us our life back.”

But it is not just Sowerby and Urich who are gaining something back. The National Sports Center for the Disabled relies on volunteers to get new students out skiing in adaptive skis. While Sowerby and Urich were off the slopes, they were missing two crucial instructors.

“Jane and Mark love to get out and ski and teach how to use [adaptive] skis, both of them having years of experience from being competitive athletes,” said Diane Eustace, the operations manager for the National Sports Center for the Disabled. “When they lost their equipment, we lost two valuable instructors that do more than just take a person on the mountain and show them how to use the equipment.”

Urich and Sowerby are now free to roam the slopes and teach others how to roam as well.

“It’s awesome,” said Urich. “We missed it so much.”