AUSTIN, Texas — Mary Rose Bushland had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) celebrated 10 years of helping blind and visually impaired people learn to ski at its Winter Ski Festival in Breckenridge, Colorado.
“This program is one of our signature events,” said USABA executive director Mark Lucas. “It has truly grown into something special and we are pleased to mark our 10th anniversary with the generous support of Anthem and the quality guides and amenities offered by the [Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center].
"Together we can offer the thrill of skiing to positively affect the lives of military veterans and members of the Armed Forces with visual impairments, and Americans who are blind or visually impaired.”
Mary Rose is 13 years old and was the only person from Austin picked for the trip. She's been blind since birth.
"I have to say, there were some people along the way who maybe didn’t think she could accomplish certain things, but she never gives up and she proves them wrong; she accomplishes anything she sets her mind out to," said her mom, Patty Bushland.
Mary Rose said she was nervous at first, but then she was ready to tackle things on her own.
"I wanna go by myself -- see ya!" Mary Rose said, laughing, as she recalled her trip filled with skiing, snow tubing and making snow angels.
Mary Rose said she hopes she can go skiing again soon.
"I can’t wait to go down the slopes again, and I thank USABA. I had a wonderful time.”
The event, which was sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado, ran from Thursday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, March 3.