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Mountains for All

Enriching lives affected by disability, special need or life-changing condition with the empowering benefits of year round mountain activities
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Update On Ski Dubai Guinness Book Of World Records – Blind Skiing

We did it!!

Group photo of the team of blind skiers and their support team at Ski Dubai

The new event was the idea of Ski Dubai and Mr. Gustavo Montero from Dubai. The collaboration of Ski 2 Freedom Foundation was instrumental for this event to take place having been asked to use our comprehensive and extensive network of contacts to provide two blind skiers (B1) and one qualified ski guide to find a Guide and two blind skiers (B1) to participate – this year it is an all Swiss Team.

The blind skiers holding their world record certificate

The Team

Blind Skiers:
Yves Kilchör & Jonas Pauchard

The Guides:
Andreas Aellen - ski instructor with many, many years of experience teaching and guiding blind and visually impaired skiers of all ages, comes from Gstaad and works for Snowsports Saanenland

Gustavo Montero - a Swiss businessman working in Dubai, was a volunteer ski guide for blind and visually impaired skiers whilst living in Geneva for the organization GRSA.

"Following over 10 years of guiding blind skiers in Switzerland, it was indeed an honor to guide Yves and Jonas, together with my other colleague and guide, Andreas, so that the Swiss blind skiers could complete their fantastic journey into to the Guinness World Record at Ski Dubai. It will now be known forever that two Swiss tandems broke this global record for the first time ever, and this is fantastic! Indeed, it was a long (almost a year) and not an easy project to put together as many logistical matters needed to be settled across different continents.

However, many friends believed in this dream and substantially helped for this to happen (Catherine Cosby of Ski 2 Freedom was one of them). In the end, as our blind skier Yves put it so nicely in one of the global radio interviews he did following the breaking of the record, "dreams are there to be accomplished, you just have to work hard, believe in them, and they will become reality". This one did!!!"
From Gustavo Montero

Below is a video from the Khaleej Times. It includes more about their experience as an athlete, how it feels being a record holder, etc. Overall, really nice pieces of coverage!

PRESS RELEASE from Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment

Ski Dubai Breaks Two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Titles

  • The two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles broken were Greatest distance skied blind or blindfolded in one hour in an indoor snow centre and Greatest distance skied in an indoor ski centre in eight hours
  • The activity is part of Ski Dubai’s bigger drive to raise awareness for visually impaired and disabled athletes, as it continues to upgrade its facilities and activity offerings to cater for all
  • Students from seven local schools in Dubai participated in the successful record attempt, as well as Ski Dubai’s home-grown Sponsored Athletes Team
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 09 October 2017: Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, today announced that Ski Dubai is now the proud holder of two new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS titles. The successful record attempts were part of the resort’s ongoing efforts to raising awareness for visually impaired and disabled athletes and designed to provide a platform for local UAE and disabled skiers to showcase their talent on the slopes.

Taking place on Sunday 08 October, 12 visually impaired skiers first broke the Greatest distance skied blind or blindfolded in one hour in an indoor snow centre GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title, followed by a group of over 100 who broke the Greatest distance skied in an indoor ski centre in eight hours GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title, both of which were officiated by the team from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS.

The first GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt included 12 participants, 10 of which were blindfolded and two were visually impaired. Yves Kilchor and Jonas Pauchard, the two visually impaired skiers from Switzerland, were guided by Andreas Aellen and Gustavo Montero down the slope, skiing 25.1 km. Over 100 participants then took on the challenge of breaking the record for the greatest distance ever skied in an indoor ski resort in under eight hours, covering over 302.3 km. The participants included Ski Dubai’s very own Sponsored Athletes team, as well as students from seven local schools in Dubai: Nord Anglia School, Shouafat, GWA School, GEMS Wellington Primary School, Jumeirah College, North London College, and Saffa School Community.

Commenting on the achievement, Mohammad El Etri, General Manager of Ski Dubai said: "We are very proud to have successfully completed two GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attempts, as part of our efforts to raise awareness for visually impaired and disabled athletes. At Ski Dubai, we want create great moments for everyone, every day and being able to provide state-of-the-art facilities and activities for everyone is essential. With this in mind, and in line with Dubai’s initiative to becoming a disabled-friendly city by 2020, we have ensured that our ski resort caters for all visitors with disabilities. Our visitor’s needs are our priority and we will continue to put these at the forefront of all our offerings."

Below is some coverage we have already received:

From Khaleej Times, on the back of the journalist’s visit and interview with the athletes. The interview was published yesterday and was issued on page 6:

Download news article from the Khalej Times

It focuses mainly on the first record attempt and it clearly communicates our messaging, which is great. It highlights Ski Dubai’s efforts to raising awareness for blind and disabled athletes and encouraging fitness for everyone. It also includes quotes from the athletes and a bit of background on the record attempt. The article also touches on the second record, including the final distance/outcome.

Gulf News has also picked up the article - gulfnews.com/news/uae/leisure/ski-dubai-breaks-2-guinness-world-records-1.2102794.

Further press coverage :

anzeigervonsaanen.ch/2017/10/auf-weltrekordjagd-dubai.html
www.jungfrauzeitung.ch/artikel/158571/
jungfrauzeitung.ch/artikel/158745
www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/laengste-zurueckgelegte-strecke-von-blinden-skifahrern-schweizer-stellen-in-dubai-weltrekord-auf-id7455211.html

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