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Paralympian Allie Johnson pushes for more disabled athletes to 'ski like a girl'

Coming off of her first Paralympic Games in Beijing 2022 and being named to the US Para Alpine team, Allie Johnson is encouraging more girls to pick up ski racing.

WINTER PARK, Colo. — Waiting in the start gate at the Winter Park Open, Allie Johnson can't help but be grateful for the life she was given.

"Being a person with a disability is my favorite part of myself," she said.

Johnson is a congenital amputee of the right arm. Her disability, she says, has opened doors that she never knew were possible.

"Having a disability has given me this life that I couldn't even imagine," she said. "It's given me the ability to inspire others with disabilities and to show that we can do anything that any able-bodied person can do."

In the past year, Johnson skied in the 2022 Beijing Paralympics and was named to the US Para Alpine team, all after only four years of competitive ski racing.

Credit: KUSA Sports

"There's three women on the US Para Alpine team, and being able to represent my country and represent the disabled women of my country is kind one of the biggest honors I've ever had," Johnson said.

Being on of only three women on the team is both a tremendous honor and an opportunity to advance the sport she loves. Johnson realizes the big disparity between men and women in para ski racing.

"I'd venture to guess that it's more of a social construct," she said. "Being a disabled woman, we get that, 'you're fragile, don't do that, let me hold the door for you, let me do all this,' and I'm here to be like, 'I got the door,' and I can do that."

Not only can she do that, but she wants to inspire other women with disabilities as well.

Credit: KUSA Sports

"Sport has given me the confidence and the advocacy that people with disabilities, and especially girls with disabilities, often need and it's really exciting and a good opportunity for other girls to be able to do a sport and feel the accomplishment of that."

Johnson teamed up with the Sisters in Sports Foundation to hopefully inspire more disabled women to get involved with sports. Their mission is to ignite a community of women and girls with disability by providing mentor and education programs that encourage participation in sport, develop passion, and build a collective voice.

Credit: KUSA Sports


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