The Gear.

Hola mis amigos! As the days have gotten super short (an awesome reminder that winter is FINALLY here…) I’ve begun to pack my things to head up to the mountains for the season. I know many of you have asked about what kind of equipment I use as far skis and equipment go, so I thought I’d do a little blog break-down of the gear I use on the daily.

First, let me tell you about my method of skiing. It’s called 3-track skiing and it involves only one full ski (regular boot, regular bindings) and then I use what are called outriggers (mine are Superlites from Enabling Technologies) for stability and balance. I then just stand and balance on my one leg and use the outriggers for weight balance and for when I am not in my ski as they double as crutches. Other methods include sit-skiing (or mono-skiing), 4-tracking, and visually impaired skiing where the skier has a guide.

The awesome fellas at the High Fives Foundation, Volkl Skis and Marker (bindings) hooked it up last year with all my boards which are all in pristine condition, waxed,  and ready for some corduroy so that’s what I will be on all this year! Thanks guys!

As mentioned above, I use Superlite Outriggers from Enabling Technologies and they are awesome. They have these super comfortable hand grips and they have engineered these pair specifically for racing.

I ride a Rossignol boot which I’d like to thank them for as they had a single left in my size chillin’ in the warehouse! Size 15 US and they had one!!!!! GRACIAS! ( I went a year a half with a boot that didn’t fit : /  )

The awesome folks at Leki hooked it up with a sweet pair of gloves that have a nice titanium plate over the knuckles for slalom protection. AND THEY ARE WARM! Double bonus!

My prosthetist, or leg doc as I like to call him, is Jason Riley. He works out of Orthotic Prosthetic Solutions in Longmont, CO.  He generously supplies me with any prosthetic adjustments, fittings and repairs that I need. He ALSO made my protective carbon fiber, leg cover and “stump” cover to prevent slalom gates from breaking my bones 🙂      (another double bonus…) Jason also runs triathlons, which is pretty coo.

My prosthetic is from Freedom Innovations. It’s is proudly made here in the USA and I choose to wear the Plie 2.0 Micro-Processor Knee and the Renegade AT Foot but they make all kinds of sweet products for amputees, including a ski foot!!!

Well I believe that mostly gives the breakdown of my gear this season minus a few odds and ends and cracked goggles I have to replace (details will follow)… Please help extend my appreciation of these awesome folks mentioned above by clicking on their links and liking their pages as they have shown me support and I would like to return the favor!

Thank you all for your continued support as I train and prepare for the 2014 Paralympic Games! You rock.

Peace, Love and Happiness,



About Mark Urich

Mark Allan Urich was born on October 10, 1985 in Denver, CO. He was born with a congenital birth defect known as Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency, or PFFD, where his femur was severely underdeveloped on his right side. This led to an amputation of what remained of his right leg at the age of 2 in order to better fit a prosthetic device. Already an active toddler, Mark quickly became accustomed to his new “robot leg” and soon he wanted to be involved in sports with the rest of his peers. Mark’s awesome mother Cheryl Martin and his supportive family, encouraged him to participate in any sport he wished and soon he was playing a sport in every season. Little league baseball was Mark’s first team sport, but it wasn’t until he started playing football that he discovered a true passion for competing and athletics. Sports, especially football at that age, always kept Mark driven and focused, even in times of sorrow. After losing his father to cancer at the age of 12 and his grandfather shortly thereafter, Mark unknowingly realized the power of healing through sport. Being that his immediate male figures in his life had been taken from him, he relied heavily on the support of his coaches and teammates and eventually was able to cope with the loss. With a new found level of support, he continued to play football through high school, making Varsity as a sophomore as a defensive tackle. After high school, he attended the University of Colorado in Boulder. Eager to get back to competing, he tried a few intramural sports but it didn’t quite fill the void until one day, a crew demonstration on the quad with an 8 man boat sparked his attention. A week later Mark was rowing at 5 in the morning on the Boulder Reservoir, a proud new member of the University of Colorado Rowing Team. In his second year, he made the Varsity boat and was able to compete in some spectacular events such as the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA. After college however, Mark lost touch with athletics and started managing a bar. Slowly, he began to lose the drive and passion for life that he once had while competing. After a couple years of this lifestyle, Mark’s life began to spiral downward into a mess of drinking and partying and eventually it consumed his life. It took him several burnt bridges and big mistakes to hit his “rock bottom” where he realized that if he kept up this lifestyle, he would probably end up in the obituaries. He decided to quit these patterns cold turkey and almost instantly, his life changed again for the better as he unknowingly opened the door to a much brighter (yet colder…) future. Mark, with his new perspective on life, was introduced to skiing in November of 2010 by friend and now teammate, Alana Nichols. Being a 3-time gold medalist from the Paralympics, Alana couldn’t believe he had never tried adaptive skiing before. Mark’s first day was pretty rocky to say the least, but he was hooked. Alana introduced him to the coaches at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, CO, where he found out that if he trained hard enough, there was a possibility of competing that same year. The internal fire for competition that had been previously snuffed out in his prior life was burning bright again. Mark immediately enrolled in a “Learn to Race” camp and in that following spring, he raced his first Downhill race in Alyeska, Alaska and came in 9th. Currently, Mark lives and trains in Winter Park, CO with the National Sports Center for the Disabled. His drive and determination, along with the stellar coaching from the NSCD, allowed him to finish 4th last season at the U.S. Adaptive Alpine Nationals in Aspen, CO in both the Downhill and Super G events. This season he hopes to podium and earn sufficient race points to be considered for the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team. He is now fully immersed in the life as a ski racer and has every intention of bringing home a gold medal for the U.S.A. in the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia!

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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