We have before us a real opportunity to make history in disabled sports, put ourselves on the map as pioneers and start to regain the ground that the East has lost to the West. Through-out the 1960’s and 70’s New England was the country’s hot bed for disabled skiing. Every educator and competitor of renown has either come from the East or trained here. And yet, the past two decades have seen us become eclipsed by the West, and we have never had a regional disabled race team. We have lost the majority of the country’s rising stars, top instructors (and even many students) to the West. Many years ago a man named Hal O’Leary emigrated from Quebec to the West, and founded what has become the biggest adaptive ski school in the World. Years later he recruited another young Easterner, an amputee skier who had already started a race movement in the East, to head up the very first adaptive competition center in the world. His name was Paul Dibello. He was from New Hampshire, and his organization, the Winter Park Race Team, has now become famous the world-over. Teams from Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Germany travel to Winter Park every year to train. The Winter Park Race Team exists today solely because the people at the Winter Park Adaptive Ski School were people of vision. They saw what Hal O’Leary had been able to build from nothing, and they were willing to support the competition center because they could see it was responding to a need in the disabled community. They built it and people came. Not all at once, mind you--it took years before the center was able to sustain itself solely on racer fees and fundraisers. But they stood at the edge of the diving board, saw that there was potential for great reward farther down the road and jumped in. We are all at the brink of that same precipice today, for we have the opportunity to create a "Winter Park East", of sorts. Consider this: Nearly half of the people who train at Winter Park come from the Eastern United States. If they had an alternative that promised comparable (or better) training and coaching, right in their own backyard, don’t you think they would take it? I believe we have all we need to offer a viable alternative and to take competive skiing to new heights. I trained at Winter Park, but after living in NH for a season, I now know that the East offers far superior snow conditions for racing and for preparing racers for competitions in Europe than "Colorado hero snow". I know what it takes to win. And I have taught clinics for ten years, so I know coaching. And I know one other thing, too: If we bring this competition center into being, the NEDST stands to become the premiere race training facility in the world.