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94-year-old blind veteran goes downhill skiing in Colorado

April 13, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A 94-year-old World War II veteran who’s legally blind is not one to back away from a challenge.

Warren Heyer, a Navy veteran from Sioux Falls, recently went downhill skiing at a special winter sports clinic in Colorado.

“I’m the type of guy who’s inquisitive about everything,” Heyer said.

Heyer was among about 400 veterans with disabilities who participated in the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic on April 2, the Argus Leader reported.

Heyer, who is fully blind in his right eye and has poor vision in his left, said cruising down Snowmass Mountain in a guided sled-type vehicle was “a little scary, but a lot of fun.”

He said he loved the adrenaline and the wind in his face while being guided down the mountain, as well as being able to “do something that all the young people do.”

Heyer had a similar experience at the Terry Peak ski resort in the Northern Black Hills of South Dakota, but that at 10,000 feet, the Colorado challenge was from a higher altitude and with a much steeper descent.

He remains very active for his age and has participated in most of the adaptive sports clinics offered by the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs, according to Cameron Will, who’s a recreation therapist with the agency.

“It’s very rewarding to see Warren do the things he does — the barriers and challenges he overcomes,” Will said. “He’s an inspiration for everybody out there.”

Heyer’s next challenge will be competing at the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Alaska in June.

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Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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