World T.E.A.M. Sports 2016 Annual Review World T.E.A.M. Sports Annual Report 2016 - Page 29

A paraplegic athlete, for instance, may be very skilled at piloting a hand cycle across rugged terrain, but could have little experience in rowing a raft. An able-bodied athlete may be strong in hiking and running, but have no practical experience in identifying the best route through a wilderness. Another athlete may feel comfortable in reading topographical maps and using a compass, but then have no experience in riding a bicycle off road on single-track trails. Bringing these diverse individuals together with a common goal of cooperation and successful completion of a stage creates a strong bond between the members. Notably, over ten years, Colorado’s Challenge has run on varied courses in the state’s high mountains and western desert, and every team has completed each stage within the allotted time. Event organizers Billy and Helene Mattison take pride in creating unique courses that offer a challenge but are not impossibly difficult or intimidating. athletes learn team paddling skills to quickly navigate the half- mile course by canoe. In New York, a special challenge—climbing the Catskill’s highest peak—is offered each year. Only the most dedicated of the young athletes undertake this challenge, given the 1,900 feet of elevation gained by the foot trail in only three miles. Remarkably, these athletes successfully summit Notch Mountain, earning a commanding view of the surrounding range. Although courses in New York and suburban Washington D.C. are suitably scaled down from Colorado to assure the success of their young adaptive athletes, Colorado’s multiple stages still serve as a model. Along the C&O Canal, Through participation in these Challenge events, athletes in Colorado, New York and Washington, D.C. learn that having a goal, and meeting that goal thanks to their effort, can translate to richer, more fulfilling lives. REVIEW LEFT: Cycling at the Adventure Team Challenge Colorado. TOP: Getting boats ready at Adventure Team Challenge New York. ABOVE: Team members at Adventure Team Challenge D.C. 27