Valley man aims to ski at 2018 paralympics

Posted at 5:35 AM, Apr 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-10 18:47:12-04

Todd Taylor isn't afraid of much -- not even flying down a mountain at more than 50 mph!

Skiing has long been Todd's ultimate escape, but it's more than just a hobby. 

"It's really liberating and freeing to be up on the mountain," he said. 

When ABC15 sat down with the traffic engineer from the city of Scottsdale, he showed us video after video of him maneuvering on the mountain as he went downhill (and he made it look so easy!)

It's incredible to think Todd does it all without the ability to see. He was diagnosed with a condition called "retinitis pigmentosa" which has slowly robbed him of his sight. Currently, he has no peripheral vision and very little central vision; he's considered legally blind and when he skis, he has to use a special guide.

"I feel limited, it's more difficult to get around, I can't drive around anymore," he said. "I can't do searches on the computer, little small things are getting more difficult." 

Todd wears many hats. He's a devoted husband and father to three children and has never let his disease stand in the way of doing what he wants. 

"He's a really good dad," explains his wife, Nikki. "He still tries to play football with his sons, and he'll throw the football for the first five or six passes and then the ball hits him right in the face he'll brush it off and he'll throw the football for a few more passes until it hits him in the side of the head."

"He's a good dad and he doesn't just give up," she said. 

It's that refusal to give up that's launching Todd into his next goal: Competitive skiing. Todd wants to compete in the 2018 Winter Paralympics, but first, he has to make the national team by placing in several other races. That means a lot of training, time and money.

But no matter what happens, Todd has already shown those around him what you do when life throws you a curveball -- you aim higher.

"When you're struggling you have to turn it into a positive," he said. 

If you'd like to help Todd, click here.