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New sport, new challenge for paraplegic

Jan 3, 2011

From: Portland Press Herald, Published January 3, 2011

Left paraplegic by a fall three years ago, Greely grad Marlon Shepard takes on competitive adaptive Nordic skiing.

RUMFORD — As a red-jacketed volunteer counted down “3 … 2 … 1,” Marlon Shepard leaned forward, dug his ski poles into the slick, hard-packed snow and set off through a light drizzle.

He quickly gained speed but just as quickly lost it, tipping over in his molded seat attached to two Nordic skis after running into a red wooden V-board meant to mark the edge of the course.

After righting himself, Shepard took off again, only to take another spill closer to a cluster of spectators peering down from an overhead bridge attached to the lodge at Black Mountain as the 2011 U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships got under way at the Chisholm Ski Club on Sunday morning.

Not the kind of nationals debut Shepard was hoping for. Then again, he’s no stranger to overcoming adversity.

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