Visually impaired Portlander skis Colorado mountains

Oregon

Lillian Goodman took part in Winter Sports Fest

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Imagine being 22, never having traveled alone and being visually impaired — but being brave enough to take a trip of a lifetime.

That’s what Lillian Goodman did.

“You know, I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ I’m a person who loves the outdoors and will do anything in the outdoors, so whenever I get the opportunity I take it,” she told KOIN 6 News.

Goodman was one of 16 visually impaired or blind participants who learned to ski and snowboard recently at the annual Winter Sports Fest in Colorado. The US Association of Blind Athletes work with several groups to host the 3-day event, now in its 11th year.

Lillian Goodman skiing. (Courtesy of Bill Kellick/United States Association of Blind Athletes)

She and the group took part in the Alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding.

When she was 7, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa — RP — which makes it hard for her to see anything other than shapes or colors. Skiing in Colorado was so memorable.

“I had a rough couple weeks before I came and from the bottom of my heart, I thank everybody who’s involved because I’ve been able to have a reset, get out in nature, feel the wind in my hair and nice Colorado air in my lungs,” she said. “I feel refreshed.”

Her life’s motto? “Not if, but how.”

There are a lot of adaptive organizations to help athletes with disabilities enjoy any sport and she encourages people to find them and learn something new.

KOIN 6 News anchor Jennifer Hoff’s series, Women Crush Wednesday, highlights women who are crushing it. Who do you know breaking the glass ceilings, inspiring others, doing good?  Send a message to Jennifer Hoff.

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