Three-time U.S. Paralympian Gold Medalist Alana Nichols is partnering with Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund to increase financial support for athletes pursuing their dream of participating in the Paralympics. So is the Sports Techie community by first clicking on the Citi® Every Step of the Way® page. After that, please share and comment about this inspiring Citi athlete and USOC program in our Sports Techie community Every Step of the Way® program blog. Your Twitter retweet or mention, Facebook like and share, Google + engagement, and generous LinkedIn support, is all deeply appreciated. As Nichols attempts to earn five more medals at the Sochi 2014 Paralympics in Russia from March 7th until the 16th, keep your virtual eye on the NBC Sports Network for unprecedented digital broadcast coverage in the United States on mobile devices with the Live Extra app and on live and delayed TV. Alana is working with Citi to help the physically disabled stay in the game.

Alana Nichols
This dual sport Paralympic athlete in wheelchair basketball and alpine skiing from the United States is the first American woman with gold medal victories for Team USA in both the summer and winter games. U.S. Paralympian Alana Nichols is partnering with The Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund to increase financial support for athletes pursuing the dream of participating in the Paralympics.

Adversity plays a role in ever Paralympian’s life but especially for Alana. She was paralyzed while snowboarding back in 2000 while attempting a backflip. She flipped one and half times and over rotated the backflip causing Nichols to hit a rock that was underneath the snow. Describing her paralysis as the feeling of a wave leaving from her waist down to her feet is a heartfelt accident to visualize. The doctor said she would never ski again, and Alana said, “Yeah, right,” hoping to one day ski on two feet. The time will hopefully come relatively soon for Alana and the many paralyzed humans and animals when they will to be able to ski, swim and walk as they wish. As a pioneering monoskier, she proved the doctor wrong.

Alana knew she wanted to start the sport of monoski back in college when she was on a mountain ski lift and smelt the fresh mountain air, remembering how much she loved to ski and snowboard on the mountainside.

She started playing wheelchair basketball in college at the University of Alabama. Eight years later, Alana and Team USA won gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. Paralympic sports and being a U.S. Paralympian changed Alana’s life. “It wasn’t what about being paralyzed, but rather what was I doing with it,” said Nichols.

Her brother passing in 2008 was another unexpected setback. She rallied herself as difficult as that was just before the Games began and won gold again at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in dedication to her brother and to the competitive spirit that burns inside her. I drew a few tears listening to Alana’s voice on the Citi web site audio feed as she shared this experience with the world.

Nichols knows the transformative power of Paralympic sport.

Alana Nichols’ Bio Video
U.S. Paralympic alpine skier Alana Nichols discusses overcoming adversity, and why she is supporting the Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund as part of Citi’s Every Step of the Way Program.

Monoski
According to Wikipedia,”The term monoski may refer to either of two unrelated pieces of ski equipment. It is the device used in the sport of monoskiing. The first known monoski was invented in the late 1950s by Dennis Phillips at Hyak, Washington using a single water ski and bear trap bindings and popularized in the 1970s and ’80s by monoskiers like Mike Doyle, is similar to a snowboard in that both feet are attached to one wide board. Unlike snowboarders, however, monoskiers ride with their feet parallel and facing directly forward, toward the tip of the board. They use the same hard plastic boots, bindings, and poles used by skiers. Because of their width, monoskis are most commonly used for skiing in deep powder snow. While the sport was never as popular in North America as it was in Europe and experienced a decline with the rise of snowboarding in the late 1980, the monoski is in the midst of a revival within the past five years due to an infusion of new technology and new techniques such as twin tips, carvings, fat boards and monoboard, especially in Chamonix, France, and Mammoth Mountain, USA.”

Sochi 2014
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will feature nearly 700 athletes with a physical disability or visual impairment from 45 countries competing in six sports. The Games feature 72 medal events (34 men, 34 women, four mixed). Team USA will compete in each of the sports contested in Sochi with an estimated team of 80 athletes.

Sochi Paralympics on NBC Sports
The returning champion in giant slalom and downhill, Nichols is all set to compete in super combined slalom and super-G.

NBC Olympics will present 27 hours of first-time live coverage of the Winter Games. NBCSN will present up to nine hours of alpine skiing coverage beginning Saturday, March 8 with live downhill coverage at 1 a.m. ET. Coverage continues Monday, March 10 with live coverage of the super G at 2 a.m. ET, and concludes with coverage of the giant slalom on Sunday, March 16 at 4:30 a.m. ET.

TeamUSA.org will live stream all of the events from the Paralympic Winter Games, including the below alpine skiing schedule:

Alpine Skiing Schedule

Date Coverage Network Time   (ET)
Sat.,   March 8 Alpine   Skiing (Downhill) – Live NBCSN 1   a.m.
Mon.,   March 10 Alpine   Skiing (Super G) – Live NBCSN 2   a.m.
Sun.,   March 16 Alpine   Skiing (Giant Slalom) – Live NBCSN 4:30   a.m.

Alana Still Image

Citi® Every Step of the Way® page
Team Citi Athletes Team Up with U.S Olympic, Paralympic And Community Programs In Need | Sports Techie blog blog

It is an honor to be part of an exclusive group of bloggers who are using their influence to share stories of the Team Citi® athletes and the programs they are helping, while supporting Team USA.  These nine U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes represent nine winter sports programs in need. Each Team Citi athlete has teamed up with a U.S Olympic, Paralympic or community program in need. Citi donated $500,000 to the U.S. Olympic Committee to help these programs thrive Citi® Every Step of the Way®. You decide who should get the funds by a simple click at Citi® Every Step of the Way® page.

Citi® Every Step of the Way® Welcome Video
As a proud sponsor of Team USA Citi reintroduces the Every Step of the Way Program. First launched for the London 2012 Games, the program allows U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes to thank the Olympic, Paralympic and Community Programs that have inspired them on their journeys. Features athletes: Billy Demong, Dan Jansen, Erin Hamlin, Evan Lysacek, Julie Chu, Picabo Street, Rico Roman, Ted Ligety, and Alana Nichols.

View other Citi videos: http://www.youtube.com/citi
Read Citi Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com
Like Citi on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/citi
Follow Citi on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/citi
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Follow hashtag #EveryStep and the handle @CitiEveryStep.

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Disclosure Code

This post was created in partnership with Citi®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sports Techie, Despite all of life’s difficult hurdles, including this past June of 2013 when Nichols was monoskiing at Mount Hood, Oregon, and hit a boulder head on going 40 miles per hour, dislocating her right shoulder causing what she described as, “the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life.”

Paralympians worldwide are encouraged by sponsors that have stayed on board and supported throughout, such as Citi has done for Alana. “The financial aspects Paralympic Sport are one of the hardest challenges to deal with,” Nichols said.

The Paralympic Champions Fund is important for disabled athletes like Alana to do what they do. The funds goal is raise money to help future Paralympians compete at the highest level possible. The Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund is a program for people with disabilities that gives them confidence and hope for their future. Alana is already at 103% of goal and rising with your click.

If you are a military veteran facing adversity and are in need of a new fitness hobby that might transform your life like it did for Alana, try adaptive sports. Paralympic Sport has given Alana’s life meaning as well as countless other disabled athletes. Handicapped youth through senior aged athletes who want a chance to play again should consider Paralympic sports training, competition and comradery. American kids or adults who want to be U.S Paralympic skiers with podium potential are encouraged to get involved with the Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund.

For results, information and live coverage of the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, log on to www.USParalympics.org.

The global Sports Techie community headquartered in Seattle, Washington stands in fifth place on the Citi Every Step of the Way data leaderboard and we too like Alana are rising up.

Show your digital device and computer support for Team USA Paralympic Champions Fund at Citi® Every Step of the Way® page and Choose Team Alana, then send her an inspiring supportive tweet at her handle @alananichols21 with a #GoTeamUSA from @SportsTechieNET, @CitiEveryStep and #everystep.

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