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GRANBY, Colo. — Jane Sowerby and Mark Urich live in the Rocky Mountains because they want to be close to each other, and the sport that they love: Skiing.
“That’s why we’re building our life here, is because it’s all centered around skiing, and volunteering. We love teaching,” said Jane Sowerby. “Just really feel the freedom and adrenaline that you get from a lot of adaptive sports.”
Jane is from the United Kingdom but fell in love with Colorado after becoming a Paralympic athlete. She is paralyzed from the waist down. Mark is from Colorado. He has a prosthetic left leg. They both love to ski.
“Going fast!” exclaimed Sowerby, discussing her favorite thing about skiing. “It is really hard to go fast in a wheelchair, even downhill, it’s not that fast. But in a sit-ski, you can fly.”
The sport has opened up a world of freedom for them, and others with disabilities, to break free from their daily constraints.
“It’s just 100% freedom to go wherever you want to go,” said Urich. “There’s nothing like skiing. There’s nothing that’s more free.”
The couple spend much of their time volunteering at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park. They teach others to overcome disabilities through skiing.
“There’s something really special about being taught by another mono skier. And there are only really the two of us now that teach for the National Sports Center for the disabled that are mono skiers,” said Sowerby. “Skiing is just so precious to me.”
But that freedom was taken from them when their car, with the adaptive skies inside, was stolen on Wednesday night. The black Honda Pilot has not been found, but the couple has shared their story in this Facebook post to try and find their belongings.
“They have taken away the fun and the sense of freedom that I get,” said Sowerby. “And I have also had my independence taken away from me because my car had hand controls.”
They say the car can be replaced, but the skis are invaluable for their volunteering, and their freedom.
“It’s gonna take a long time, not just financially, but to just the process of getting those done again, and fine tune to where we can perform at that level, again,” lamented Sowerby. “It is gut wrenching.”
Now, they are asking the thief to keep the car, but give them back their freedom, in the form of the adaptive skis in the trunk.
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