Paralympian Mark Soyer is no stranger to Falls Creek, but it’s normally a bit chillier when Australia’s fastest man on a sit ski descends the mountain.
The former Benalla College student took to the mountain on Thursday to test the suitability of the region’s tracks for adaptive mountain biking.
The paralympic skier knows first hand how important adaptive activities are for people with a disability – and how lucrative the growing adaptive tourism industry is.
In 2004, while at his parent’s farm just outside Wangaratta, an accident severed Mr Soyer’s spinal cord.
After the accident Mr Soyer became involved in a number of adaptive sports before finding his niche in para-alpine skiing through Disabled Wintersport Australia.
“I started skiing supported through DWA and that led into competitions,” he said.
“Through that I’ve been able to compete at the last paralympics in PyeongChang.
“Now we’re starting to extend now into some summer programs which is very exciting.”
Currently DWA assists thousands of individuals with disabilities to participate in winter sports annually.
Mr Soyer said expanding the DWA program would provide people with a disability opportunities outside the winter months and also provide a sizeable economic boost for the alpine region.
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