Being blind is a hard way to live one's life. When it comes to skiing and being blind, those two do not mesh, but one program accomplishes this gap. Foresight Ski Guides in Vail, run by Mark Davis.This program started in 2000 when Mr. Davis actually lost his vision. He wanted to be able to ski, and shared that same love with many other blind kids and adults. In 2002 the first adults started blind skiing with Foresight Ski Guides. Ever since then the program has expanded with now around 25 guides helping blind citizens ski every winter.
The way blind skiing works, is that the guide skis behind the blind skier, and verbally tells the patient where to turn. As one might imagine there is a lot of trust involved in this.
One senior guide, Bill Murphy, stated that his favorite part about giving lessons to blind skiers is, “I see so much change in so little time, because of the trust established between me and my customer. That is the only element we can rely on.” The relationship that Bill creates with his clients is remarkable, and is a key aspect to the success of the customer.
Regarding the trust aspect that Foresight Guides brings to its clients the Heltons now living near Atlanta, Georgia has had a life changing experience with this Blind Skiers Program. Gracie Helton has been blind ever since she was four, and Mark Davis met this girl in Colorado Springs never imagining the impact he would have on her in the near future. As Gracie’s mom Rebecca Helton stated, Foresight was a major way the Gracie was able to boost her courage with her current situation, and also experience major trust when it is hard to in a situation where one is blind. Now at 12 years old, Gracie and her family jump on every opportunity to ski with Foresight Ski Guides that they can.
This amazing program at Vail is giving kids like Gracie opportunities that they would never have. Foresight Ski Guides ends this season successfully, and hope next year to reach more blind kids and adults.