All I need is some snow and gravity

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Queenstown sit-skier Mia O’Keefe (right) continues her life in the fast lane this weekend. 

The teen takes part in a three-day alpine racing development workshop at Cardrona for eight skiers and riders with disabilities from tomorrow until Sunday. 

Mia, 14, is wheelchair-bound with spina bifida but it doesn’t stop her carving up the mountain on her sit-ski – a bucket seat attached to one ski. 

She’s been hurtling down The Remarkable runs for eight years and wants to “just learn more skills and improve my skiing and technique”. 

Snow Sports New Zealand coaching director Adam Dooney will be on hand to give advice at the workshop, a prelude to the six-day Adaptive Snow Sports Festival running from Sunday to next Friday. 

For more than 20 years, Kiwi kids and adults with disabilities have been annually converging on Cardrona for a heap of mountain experiences – ski and boarding lessons, mountain tours, cross-country skiing, freeskiing and alpine racing. 

For the first time, the festival will also be at The Remarkables for a day – next Tuesday – giving participants the chance to test new terrain. 

“On the slopes they can be out there skiing along with their family and friends like everybody else,” SSNZ adaptive manager Libby Blackley says.