Hello world. Let me introduce you to Jacob Smith, a 15-year-old legally blind skier that you’ll be hearing more about in the coming years.
Smith became the first legally blind skier to ski Big Sky’s legendary Big Couloir when he was just 12-years-old, and is now a legitimate competitor in regional junior freeride tournaments.
How badass is that?
^Visual representation of Jacob Smith’s vision. Credit: 60 Minutes
Well, apparently badass enough to garner the attention of national news. Smith’s story was covered by 60 Minutes recently, and it’s well worth a watch. Unfortunately, I can’t embed the entire story/video, but I highly encourage you check it out by clicking here.
Also, check out this quick clip of Smith skiing Big Couloir that 60 Minutes posted to Twitter:
“When you’re standing at the top, you feel like if you move, you’re going to die.”
At 12 years old, Jacob Smith became the only legally blind skier to complete Big Sky’s 11,000 feet high Big Couloir run, which has a vertigo-inducing 50-degree slope. https://t.co/ZwGyeQQq5a pic.twitter.com/CfMWVTSly9
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 7, 2022
This kid skis Big Couloir better than the average person and he’s legally blind! Can you even imagine? Smith navigates the terrain with instructions from his dad using a two-way radio. Insane.
I really enjoyed watching the entirety of the 60 Minutes piece. It seems like Smith’s family is made up of a bunch of rad skiers, and I love that he’s able to ride with the best of them despite his visual impairment.
I also stumbled across this longer segment produced by Big Sky Resort back in 2020. I have no idea how I missed this… I feel ashamed. My credentials as a super-important ski blogger have taken a blow…