April 6, 2001

"Everyone faces the world with different abilities and disabilities, but we all have one goal in common … to break through our own barriers."
---Mark Wellman, extreme athlete

Extreme athlete to describe his adventures

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Extreme athlete Mark Wellman-the first person with a disability to climb El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park-will give a talk titled "Beyond the Barriers" on Friday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Middlebury College. A parapalegic as a result of a life-threatening climbing accident, he is also the first disabled person to sit-ski, using only his arms, across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range unassisted. The event, which will include video and a slide presentation, will take place in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125). Admission is free.

The talk by Wellman, a Middlebury College Twilight Lecturer, will include a discussion of his struggle to regain his spirit and strength, and to realize that adversity offered him an opportunity for a new beginning.

Wellman lives and trains in Truckee, Cal., where he owns and operates a business called No Limits, offering various types of adaptive climbing gear that he has developed with the help of equipment experts. He has also instructed and assisted in many climbing seminars throughout the country.

This event is co-sponsored by several Middlebury College offices and departments-the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) office, the office for institutional diversity, the department of athletics, and student residential organizations Wonnacott and Atwater Commons. For more information, contact the Middlebury College ADA office at 802-443-5936.

-- end --