Making the Impossible Possible with Wasatch Adaptive Sports

by Andy Nichols, son of WAS student Rhett Nichols

I grew up listening to skiing stories about my dad, Rhett, or Rhettski as some called him. He’d talk about doing backflips and nearly hitting the ski lift and impressing the crowds, and he loved to ski hard and well. When my mom was in the hospital giving birth to me he was working at the ski resorts and had to rush to the hospital. I tell you this because I idolized his skiing as it seemed like part of his DNA. You can imagine how devastating it was to have him get Multiple Sclerosis in my youth. I never got to ski with my dad and the financial turmoil that onset from that meant we could never afford to go.

I often daydreamed about going skiing with my dad like everyone else. Unfortunately he has one of the worst cases of MS the University of Utah has ever seen and being able to ski with my dad seemed….IMPOSSIBLE, or so we thought.

That’s where WAS came in. I had heard about this program and wanted to see if it was possible to live my dream of going skiing with him. While WAS could see it would be a bit challenging given some of his complications, Dave, a WAS instructor was up for the test. After understanding his needs we came up with solutions and a ski day was booked on the calendar.

Needless to say you can imagine the emotions and joy that overwhelmed me as we got on the chairlift. Against everything I thought was possible, WE DID IT, I was on the slopes with him. We didn’t just stop there either as WAS empowered him to get out biking and even kayaking. While most think that WAS stands for Wasatch Adaptive Sports in our book it stands for Winning Against Setbacks.