By Kerri-Lynn Hernandez – Assistant Editor
UMF Sophomore Lindsay Ball, Paralympic Skiing medalist, is gearing up for Russia in 2013.
Paralympics in March of 2013 take place in Sochi, Russia. “I have to go to the gym and stay in shape,” she said, “Next year I have to compete at the national level and the world cup level and keep my points down, basically to stay qualified so I can go in the Paralympic year, to go to the Paralympics and compete with my team.”
Ball; however, is not any average skier. She is visually impaired and has a guide, Diane Barras. “The biggest struggle that I’ve had is that you have to have a guide and it took me a couple years to find Diane, I went through a couple people before I found her and she actually wanted to commit to it. The struggle now is trying to balance school and skiing. The skiing commitment is going to get greater, but I don’t want to take any time off from school.”
She has done well to balance both aspects of her life. While leaving for the World Cup in Winter Park, Colorado for a few school days this past March to compete, she still stayed on top of her schoolwork while being gone and placed third in her race, receiving a bronze metal.
Ball describes that there were four other visually impaired racers, and about thirty woman racers. There were about eighty racers total. Ball versed the other four visually impaired racers for a metal, and competed against everyone when it came to points.
Ball started skiing at the age of six when her parents heard of program named “Maine Handicap Skiing,” (Now called “Maine Adaptive”). “I went skiing like four times the first year and I kept wanting to go back,” Ball noted.
She joked about other awards she’s received. “Can I just give you the big ones?”
In 2010, she was the “giant slalom women’s visually impaired nation champion,” and again in 2012, while also being “downhill nation champion.”
Her future plans after the Paralympics are uncertain, she said, “My plan for next season is to race nationally and do some World Cups and the World Cup finals.”