Meet the Match
Russian Entrepreneur Uses Alpine Skiing to Inspire Children of All Abilities
Albina, who was named after the ski boot brand, Alpina, grew up in Izhevsk, Russia. Her father, an alpine skier, shared his love of the sport with her, and early in life, Albina fell in love with skiing and outdoor adventure. As a teenager, Albina worked at an alpine ski resort where she helped begin a free skiing school for children. However, even in her formative years, Albina knew the importance of inclusion. As she was coaching, she noticed that few, if any, of the children had disabilities, which challenged her to take note of the experiences of people with disabilities throughout Russia. In this pursuit, Albina learned that when the U.S.S.R. hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1980, no Paralympic Games were held because “the U.S.S.R. had no one with disabilities.”** Upon closer observation, Albina also learned that people with disabilities in her community faced isolation and ostracization.
Now, as a sports coordinator, Albina works to address the challenges facing persons with disabilities through Dreamski, an adaptive alpine skiing program where she is a chief instructor. Through Dreamski, Albina works to inspire children of all abilities and their families through sports training and wants to show youth that “everything is possible.” For GSMP: Sport for Community 2019, Albina will be mentored by Tracy Meier, Program and Education Director, and her team at National Ability Center in Park City, UT.
**While Paralympic Games were not held in the U.S.S.R. in 1980, the Netherlands hosted the Summer games and Norway the Winter games. The tradition of holding the Paralympic Games in the same Olympic cities did not begin until Seoul 1988 and Albertville 1992.