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Iowa skiers with prosthetics hit the slopes for annual event

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Skiers with prosthetic limbs and braces took to the slopes in eastern Iowa this weekend for an annual adaptive skiing event.

About 30 people attended the event at Sundown Mountain Resort in Dubuque on Sunday, the Telegraph Herald reported.

Kaily Ramage, 9, spent all afternoon on the slopes. She has had a prosthetic left leg since she was a baby. She was born with a club foot and was missing part of her fibula, which led to a leg amputation at 5 months old.

Kaily has been using adaptive equipment to ski for a few years.

“She does very well,” said Beth Bonz, a ski instructor. “Every year, she’s gotten progressively better.”

Kaily said skiing is one of her favorite sports.

“It’s fun,” Kaily said. “I get to go fast and it feels really easy.”

Waterloo resident Adam Weber also participated in Sunday’s event. He said he began snowboarding with adaptive modifications last year. In 2015, Weber lost the lower part of his left leg after a motorcycle accident.

To snowboard, Weber said he uses a piece of foam in his boot and a different bracket that allows his prosthetic to be bent.

Weber said inspirational young skiers like Kaily are often the future of winter sports. “They show that the sky’s the limit,” Weber said.

Andy Steele is a co-owner of Clark & Associates Prosthetics and Orthotics, which organized the event. Steele has a prosthetic after losing his leg in a farm accident.

He joined Kaily and Weber on the slopes.

“It’s incredible to see people getting back to doing something that they love or get back to trying new things,” said Steele.

–Associated Press

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