Disability athletes from Rwanda, Mongola, Vietnam, Kenya, Hong Kong, South Korea, Ecuador are currently in South Korea’s PyeongChang and getting some time and experience in on the slopes as part of the 2015 Dream Program.
This year’s camp started on January 25 and concludes tomorrow. The program is part of efforts to increase youth and disability sport participation in winter sports that has been going on since 2004. It works with National Olympic Committees and National Paralympic Committees in various countries through Korea’s embassies. It expanded in 2011 in response to South Korea being awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
For disability athletes, camp includes a tour of Olympic and Paralympic venues, cultural exchanges, training in several sports including para-alpine skiing. Participants needed to be between 13 – 19 years old, have an interest in winter sports and would like to continue training in the sport in the future. 30% of the spots were allocated for athletes with disabilities. A preference was given to English speakers. The Koreans paid the cost of round trip tickets, food and accommodation, uniforms, equipment and support personnel including translators.