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UMF grad Lindsay Ball to Ski in Sochi, Russia, on U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team

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FARMINGTON A December 2013 graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington, Lindsay Ball is headed for the competition of a lifetime in Sochi, Russia, as the only Maine athlete named to the official 2014 U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Team.

'We couldn't be prouder of Lindsay,' said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF president. 'She has excelled at UMF in so many ways, and we'll be cheering for her as she races in the upcoming Paralympics half way around the world.'

Born visually impaired, Ball, from Benton, Maine, knows what it is to challenge herself. She also has always challenged other people's expectations of herselfstarting to ski at the age of 6 and now participating at the highest level of competitive skiing.

During her time at UMF, she balanced championship skiing along with studying to obtain her bachelor's degree in psychology. 'Completing her degree was a priority to Lindsay and it was a pleasure to support her in every way possible,' said Susan Anzivino, UMF professor of psychology and Ball's advisor. 'Lindsay was an incredibly hardworking student, even as she traveled around the world skiing. She never shied away from any challenge, taking the most difficult courses at UMF while pursuing her athletic dreams.'

The road hasn't been easy and, according to Ball, the opportunity to compete at the Paralympic games is something she never would have imagined when she first started skiing. 

Classified as B1completely blindin the paralympic world, Ball and her skiing guide, Diane Barras, of Bethel, were first named to the U.S. Team in 2011. Since then, they have won the Visually Impaired Giant Slalom at the 2012 U.S. Adaptive National Championships, the 2012 Downhill National Championship (women's visually impaired category) and earned a bronze medal in the 2012 Alpine Skiing World Cup Women's Giant Slalom Visually Impaired race.

Ball is currently training at the National Sports Center for the Disabled in Winter Park, Colo. She will be leaving for team processing in Munich, Germany, at the end of February and racing in the Paralympics Giant Slalom in Sochi, Russia, on March 16. 

She hopes to attend graduate school as the next step in her education.

See more of Ball's story at her fundraising site at http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/lball/sochi14.

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine's four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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