Interview with U.S. Paralympics Skier Thomas Charles Walsh - Aspen Real Life

Interview with U.S. Paralympics Skier Thomas Charles Walsh

[su_heading size=”28″]Interview with U.S. Paralympics Skier Thomas Charles Walsh[/su_heading]

In continuation of covering the U.S. Paralympics World Cup I have been fortunate to have had the chance to interview Vail local, Thomas Charles Walsh, here in Aspen skiing for the U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team during the IPC Alpine Skiing World Cup.

I first was introduced to Thomas by my nephew seven years ago. Thomas and Devon were friends through their ski racing, but Thomas was stricken with a rare form of cancer right before he was about to leave for the ski academy, Green Mountain Valley School in Vermont. For one year Thomas was forced to leave skiing behind and instead endure treatments and hospitals in Denver and Boston. Although, I never met Thomas in person I followed he and his mom’s daily updates on his carepage and kept him in my thoughts and prayers.

While covering the World Cup  here in Aspen I requested an interview with one of the athletes and was told I could reach out to Thomas. When I realized it was the same Thomas, clean of cancer and now skiing for the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team I felt a warm wash of appreciation run through me for where he was then and where he is now. I was finally going to get to meet him in person.

Trudging into the Inn at Aspen with my video camera and tripod I met Thomas in the lobby and immediately felt his calm and graceful demeanor. As we sat and talked before the interview I learned that Thomas has always been true to himself and his passion not only for skiing but also dance, music and the performing arts. At the age of six he became a ballet dancer and eventually joined the Vail Valley Youth Ballet Company. As he got older he continued dancing, enjoying the cross training of ballet with nordic and alpine skiing, along with baseball, hockey and all of his other sports. All along it was his mom who encouraged him to do everything he loved. She is now his one and only sponsor (let’s give his mum a break shall we and bring in some more sponsors??).

Recovering from the cancer treatments, at one point he weighed as little as 65lbs, Thomas actually did end up attending Green Mountain Academy and returned to ski racing. When told he was an anomaly to other men his age Thomas replied, “Other students do what is logical, not necessarily what they want to do.” Clearly this devotion to stay true to himself has worked well for him, after the Academy he enrolled into the Savannah College of Art and Design and hopes to graduate with a BFA in performing arts. He also was invited to be on the U.S. Paralympics Alpine National Team and has joined as a disabled athlete. Within this first year has won his first giant slalom world cup race to complete the season ranked second (slalom) and third (giant slalom) in the overall world cup standings.

Thomas acknowledges that all he has been through has made him stronger. [su_quote cite=”Thomas Walsh”]I have always been an easy going person and now I can see the bigger picture. Without all that has happened I wouldn’t be skiing with the U.S. Paralympic team today. I may not look it but I am disabled. As Kevin Jardine said in your interview with him, we are all called adaptive athletes because we adapt to compete in this sport at such a high level. I’ve been blessed to be able to ski and have my solid foundation of performing arts.[/su_quote]

When asked what he wishes his legacy to be, Thomas replies,  [su_quote cite=”Thomas Walsh”]I have always been an easy going person and now I can see the bigger picture. Without all that has happened I wouldn’t be skiing with the U.S. Paralympic team today. I may not look it but I am disabled. As Kevin Jardine said in your interview with him, we are all called adaptive athletes because we adapt to compete in this sport at such a high level. I’ve been blessed to be able to ski and have my solid foundation of performing arts.[/su_quote]

* Thomas has been nominated for the Best of February Male Paralympic Athlete of the Month. Vote for him here: http://www.teamusa.org/team-usa-awards

First World Cup GS victory
First World Cup GS victory

[su_youtube_advanced url=”https://youtu.be/dofd_ZEaOeQ” class=”https://youtu.be/E8u1h9YzUTM”]

Sharing is Caring 💙

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Check us Out on Instagram

Check us Out on Facebook

4 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Aspen Real Life's cover photo ...
View on Facebook

5 days ago

Aspen Real Life
How Nature Heals, A Story From aspenreallife.com: #l....As the story from the forest unraveled while we were skinning through it, other stories were revealed and I began to collect the information for a possible future children’s book; the snow crystals sparkling like diamonds in the sun, the white ice crystals of hoarfrost layered upon the snow, and as I absorbed the textures with my eyes, I realized that I also felt the textures from within and it was inexplicably soothing. We have been forced to slow down during this Pandemic, allowing us the opportunity to reflect deeply about our place in the world. For many of us revelations are happening daily, but if we are filled with anxiety, or can’t move beyond our depression, we will not allow the revelations to seep in and we will miss the magic. Meditation helps immensely to create mindfulness about the chatter that leads to the anxiety, as does listening to the journeys of others as they get raw in their pain while enduring heart break and loss. As we repeatedly witness, the world can be a scary place where humanity can be careless, selfish and hateful, but humanity and compassion can also heal us to a place where we are able to see the world as healing rather than a place we want to escape from, but you need to get raw with it. Face it head on, so that you can create space and breathe, which will allow you to slowly shed the anxiety and the depression so that you can strengthen from within and persevere, no matter what is going on around you. Get outside in nature, and nurture it as it nurtures you.Read More at aspenreallife.com#hownatureheals#intotheforest#hoarfrost#textures#natureheals#aspenreallife ...
View on Facebook

6 days ago

Aspen Real Life
Big mountain skiing on @silvertonmtn with @silvertonmountainguides and @team_avsc.#bigmountainskiing #silvertonskiing#gettingawayfromitall#skivacay#fathersontime ...
View on Facebook