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Chippewa Falls teen qualifies for World Cup in para-Nordic skiing

(WQOW)- Sunday is a day Chippewa Falls High School senior Ty Wiberg won't soon forget.

"The coach told me and I couldn't believe it," Wiberg said . "I started crying, it was just really an emotional time."

At the US Nationals in Utah, the para-Nordic skier earned a chance to compete against the best of the best at the World Cup.

Next month, his skis will be slicing through the snow-covered slopes in Germany, where he'll represent the red white and blue.

"Skiing means a lot, sports in general mean a lot to me, but skiing is kind of that one where I can kinda go out and it's all me," Wiberg said. "Everything I do it's because of me. So, if I make a mistake it's me. If I do well it's because of me."

It's that push to excel that sparked a passion for the sport two years ago, and although his equipment may seem unique, nothing holds him back from hitting a hill.

"A disability shouldn't stop anyone," Wiberg said. "If you want to do something you just gotta you know. You might have to find another way of doing it but you can still do everything you want to."

Wiberg was born with a condition called spina bifida.

"My spinal cord was outside of my back meaning I have no feeling below the knees and I have to have a wheelchair to get around long distances," Wiberg said.

He said para-Nordic skiing requires a lot of upper body strength.

"I'm only using my arms to ski so getting up some of those hills has been kinda difficult," Wiberg said.

That's why he's been seeing a personal trainer every Monday to better prepare for whatever obstacles he might face.

Despite the pressure of representing his community and country, Wiberg remains confident because when he's in his sit-ski, he said he feels invincible.

"I just kinda feel like I can do anything when I'm skiing. It's just, you know, on the flats or even on the downhill, just whatever I'm doing, whenever I'm skiing, I just feel like I can do anything," Wiberg said.

Wiberg will be heading to Finsterau Germany at the end of the month.

The eight-day competition will begin the first week in February.

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