Skiing has become one of the most popular sports for people with disabilities, resulting in the formation of several organizations that provide instruction, coaching and support, with their general theme being, "If I can do this, I can do anything."
The National Handicapped Sports and Recreation Assn. is starting its 20th year, and downhill skiing is one of its major programs.
"This year, skiing opportunities for the physically handicapped have more than doubled," according to Paul Lodi, director of promotions for the association, which is sponsoring learn-to-ski clinics (including one at Alpine Meadows Feb. 5-8), learn-to-race clinics and physical-fitness clinics throughout the country.
The association also is responsible for training the U.S. Disabled Ski Team that competes in the World Winter Games for the Disabled. Last April at Salen, Sweden, American stand-up, mono-ski and blind racers won 56 of 182 medals in the Alpine events against skiers from 17 other nations.
This year's team will be selected at the National Handicapped Ski Championships at Mt. Washington Valley, N.H., March 22-27.
Closer to home, there will be a Showcase Exhibition of Handicapped Skiing at Goldmine on Jan. 31, with James Stacy as host. Stacy starred in the television series, "Lancer," during the 1960s, before he lost his left arm and leg in a motorcycle accident in 1973. He later received an Emmy nomination for his role in the television movie, "Just a Little Inconvenience," which also starred Lee Majors.
The exhibition, at 1 p.m., and a dinner that evening at the Big Bear Inn Hotel are both open to the public. More details are available by calling Goldmine or the California Handicapped Skiers' Foundation at (818) 447-4754.
The American Lung Assn. is offering a Ski Privilege card that is good for one day of skiing at each of eight resorts in Southern California, total cost $35.
Participating ski areas are Snow Summit, Snow Forest, Ski Sunrise, Ski Green Valley, Mt. Baldy, Kratka Ridge, Mt. Waterman and Shirley Meadows. The card is valid any Monday through Friday except holidays at all but Shirley Meadows, where it is valid Friday through Monday.
Proceeds from the sale of the card will benefit the American Lung Assn., which has more information at (714) 884-5864.
Herman Smith Johannsen, known throughout skiing circles as "Jackrabbit," died earlier this month in his native Norway.
Johannsen, who was a Canadian citizen for the final 56 years of his life, skied at least one kilometer every day during the winter, until this regimen finally became too much for him at the age of 109. Last February, he attended one of his final ski events, the 50th anniversary of the creation of Sun Valley, Idaho, where he was honored as the world's oldest living skier. He was 111 when he died.
Skiing Notes The final World Cup action before next week's World Alpine Skiing Championships will take place Saturday and Sunday at Kitzbuhel, Austria, where the men are scheduled to compete in downhill and slalom races that comprise the traditional Hahnenkamm event. ABC-TV will carry same-day coverage of the downhill on "Wide World of Sports" Saturday (Channel 7, 4:30 to 6 p.m. PST). . . . ESPN will show Sunday's slalom (delayed) at 3 p.m. PST. What football game? . . . Pirmin Zurbriggen's victory in last Tuesday's giant slalom at Adelboden, Switzerland, gave the Swiss skier, who finished second in the overall standings the past two seasons after winning the title in 1983-84, a total of 221 points, 55 ahead of Markus Wasmeier of West Germany. . . . Defending champion Maria Walliser of Switzerland is the leading woman with 229 points, 28 in front of her coutrywoman, Vreni Schneider. American Tamara McKinney has dropped into sixth place with 118.
Norwegian Jarle Halsnes, who won the world pro championship last April at Aspen, Colo., is the leading money winner on the U.S. Men's Pro Ski Tour with $10,150 after the first two events. Thomas Cerchovnik of Yugoslavia is second with $8,350, and Jorge Seiler of Switzerland is third with $7,800. . . . The leader's brother, Edvin Halsnes, who was the 1985-86 tour champion, is eighth with $4,500. . . . The men will be at Angel Fire, N.M., this weekend. Their only California stop is at Snow Summit Feb. 12-15.
Women's Pro Ski Racing visits Loon Mountain, N.H., this weekend. A rookie, 19-year-old Roswitha Raudaschl of Austria, is atop the standings with $8,000, followed by two-time defending champion Cathy Bruce of Stratton Mountain, Vt., with $6,100 and Bente Dahlum of Norway with $3,400. . . . Raudaschl won the first two races, then placed second to American Holly Flanders in a downhill at Purgatory, Colo. Bruce won both races last Saturday and Sunday. . . . The women are tentatively scheduled to compete at Snow Summit on Feb. 28-March 1 and are definite for Squaw Valley on March 6-8 and Kirkwood on March 28-29.
Snow Summit will play host to the Stella Artois Weekend World Cup for recreational skiers Saturday. . . . The South Lake Tahoe Winter Carnival will open a four-day run next Tuesday at Sierra Ski Ranch, with the usual fun races and social events scheduled. . . . The National Ski Jumping Championships will be held next Wednesday through Feb. 1 at Steamboat Springs, Colo.