Stephanie Jallen was born with a rare birth defect called C.H.I.L.D.S. syndrome, leaving the left side of her body underdeveloped. She was introduced to skiing at a camp for kids with disabilities at age 9 and was hooked! Now a full-fledged ski racer, the 17-year-old junior from Wyoming Area trains at Danko's All American Fitness three times a week with trainer Ernie Baul to keep her body in tip-top shape.
"We train strength, endurance, cardio, anything you can imagine, even some crazy stuff that he puts together because it's not easy training only one half of your body and the other time making the other half just as equal," said Stephanie.
Stephanie travels the globe training and racing to hone her technique and skill. Racing is a physically and mentally challenging sport for anyone, but Stephanie is working with the best, setting the bar high to achieve new goals every ski season.
"This past season I was in Austria training for two weeks and I was also in Vail, Colorado for two weeks. I was also just recently in Canada to a mountain that has, until now, always taken control of me and I placed two golds and one silver."
With all her accomplishments so far in 2013, Stephanie has big goals for 2014. The real question is what's more important? Graduating high school or making it to the Paralympics in Russia?
<"Graduating and competing in the Paralympics in the same year is going to be tough. They're both very important to me because I do want to go on to college and I do want to keep skiing. This dream, this goal which is now almost reality for me has been a life-long thing."
Increasing speed and success puts Stephanie on the right edge. it's intense for her, but even more so for her family.
"My mom isn't too thrilled about hearing that I just broke the 60 mph mark on a ski, but she knows that all this has opened up opportunities for me that would have never been available elsewhere. She's kind of gotten used to it, but it's tough for her."
The epitome of "no guts, no glory"... An uphill battled turned into a downhill success story.