For the first time in Dew Tour’s nine years, the winter action sports event will feature a competition for para-athletes.
While the world’s best winter sports athletes have spent the last months of 2016 gearing up for Dew Tour, which takes place December 8 to 11 in Breckenridge, organizers have been busy diversifying the event’s offerings. That includes the return of ski and snowboard Streetstyle competitions, a new Team Challenge event, and the addition of the Dew Tour Experience, a four-day celebration of music, art, and action sports.
But of the many changes athletes and attendees can expect during the tour’s ninth installment, the most notable is the creation of an adaptive slalom—a first-of-its-kind event created via a partnership between the tour, TEN: The Enthusiast Network, Toyota, and Copper Mountain-based Adaptive Action Sports (AAS).
“I have partnered with Toyota for quite a few years,” says Amy Purdy, a 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist and co-founder of AAS, the first nonprofit focused on creating snowboarding and skateboarding opportunities for those with permanent physical disabilities, including adults, children, and wounded veterans. “Our partnership is really based on innovation and taking things in a different direction—paving the path. And obviously Toyota is a partner of Dew Tour, an event [AAS is] always at.”
As a double leg amputee and Dancing with the Stars competitor, it seems natural that Purdy would be the one to plant the seed for this event. However, the Paralympian gives credit to her husband, Daniel Gale. As the co-founder and executive director of AAS, Gale reached out to Toyota about introducing an adaptive boardercross or banked slalom event at Dew Tour, and Purdy says the company quickly jumped on board.
Purdy and Gale were charged with organizing the historic competition, which will see 23 athletes (13 men and 10 women) compete on a banked slalom course at the Springmeier run. Banked slaloms typically see athletes navigate their way down a winding course of various sized hills, wedged jumps, and banked turns, among other features.
The full article first appeared at 5280.com on December, 5, 2016.