Paralympic Skier Will Compete in American Birkebeiner

Posted at: 02/20/2013 8:43 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2013 12:04 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

Augusto PerezA famous ski race gets underway this weekend in Cable, Wis. and this year, a unique racer will be competing.

Paralympic skier Augusto Perez has flown in from New York to compete in the Kortelopet, which is a 23 kilometer race part of the American Birkebeiner.

"I really wanted to do the Birke," Perez said. "We didn't have enough time to set up a good support team to do it, so we set up for the Korte."

Perez lost his leg to cancer, and will be competing from a special ski chair.

"I could be home taking pain killers and be a couch potato," Perez siad. "I refuse to do that."

If Perez makes it across the finish line, he'll be the second person to do it in a chair, but he's not racing alone.

"I will be helping to keep goose safe on the up hills and the down hills, and just making sure he finishes," Guide Eve Stein said.

Stein will be guiding Perez this weekend, and she's more than happy to do it.

"I just thought this is so awesome," Stein said. "It's amazing for him to do this. So, I wanted to make sure he could do it."