Deaf Helena Skier Beats Odds, Qualifies for Deaflympics in Russi - News, Sports and Weather

Deaf Helena Skier Beats Odds, Qualifies for Deaflympics in Russia

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Helena's Jace Williams was born with a severe hearing disability. With the help of hearing aids, and years of speech therapy it's hard for you or I to tell he has hearing loss. But when he's skiing he doesn't use any of that, because he says on the slopes silence is golden.

"I just started training with my hearing aids off, and it actually helps me ski better," said Jace. "I'm more focused and I use my vision more. I'm not worried how icy the snow is, the wind coming through, I'm just focused on what I'm going to do and how I'm going to attack."

He's been skiing now for 16 years. But this new approach helped him obtain a life-long goal. About a month ago Jace was selected to represent the U.S. in the Deaflympic games. He's training 8 to 10 hours a day preparing to leave for Russia in a little more than a month.

"It means that all the years of hard work and accepting my hearing disability has finally paid off," said Jace. "I'm actually going somewhere with it, doing a sport that I love, while representing a disability that won't get in my way."

But going to Russia presents a financial challenge. That's why Jace and his family started a RallyMe website to collect donations.

"I am honestly spoiled to be living in a community such as Helena because everybody is so tight nit and close," said Jace. "People will go broke just fundraising for you."

"Just having everybody rally up and contribute to help Jace get there is an honor, and very humbling," said Jace's father Tal.

Jace has received over $2000 from the Helena community for his trip. And as the money pours in, so have the kind thoughts and comments. And every penny puts Jace a step closer to his goal.

"There's blind ski racers, there's disabled ski racers, so why can't there be deaf ski racers," said Jace.

Jace is a deaf ski racer! He will ski for Team USA! And while he might choose to do so in silence, he also doesn't need the hearing aids to feel the support of those around him.

If you want to donate to Jace you can online right here, or through the mail to PO Box 480, Helena, MT, 59624.

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