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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (KDVR) — Sixteen blind and visually impaired individuals took to the slopes Wednesday at the annual Winter Sports Fest in Breckenridge.

This is the 11th year that the United States Association of Blind Athletes have empowered individuals who are blind or visually impaired to learn to ski and snowboard.

Annual Winter Sports Fest, Breckenridge, Colo.

“When someone is visually impaired, everyday activities can be physically and emotionally challenging but that shouldn’t prevent them from enjoying the outdoors and taking part in activities that enhance their lives,” said Greg Poulakos, president of Anthem’s Life, Disability and Supplemental Health business.

“For the last 11 years, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has been the lead sponsor for this event, which reflects our commitment to improving people’s lives and the communities we serve. It’s incredibly inspiring to be with people who are visually impaired as they learn exciting and challenging new skills and help enhance their well-being,” Poulakos added.

The participants for this event included individuals from ages 6 – 55, three of which were veterans.

The Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center provided trained adaptive ski instructors and guides for the individuals looking to learn these new skills as well as provided lodging, meals and transportation for the event.

Annual Winter Sports Fest, Breckenridge, Colo.

The event will continue on through the weekend and end on March 1.