One Stranger Motivates Biathlete

Just one person can make a difference. In Abby Hess's life one stranger had an idea.

"I started through some stranger I didn't know," Hess said. "She noticed my prosthetic leg and my crutch. She was like, 'I know the perfect sport for you' and she told me about sled hockey and I tried it that day. That day I loved it."

It's a sport that started in the 1960s for disabled athletes who wanted to play a game on the ice, except without using their lower body. Hess's favorite part of playing...

"I could go fast, way faster than I can on my feet," Hess said. "The best way to do sports is really sitting down and using my upper body for me since I can't run."

Without the use of her legs, Hess needed to modify her life when she was born.

"My disability is that I have a severe case of scoliosis," Hess said. "Long story short the surgeries didn't work out," Hess said. "I'll adjusted to it, since it's pretty much been with me my entire life."

Hess began with displaced hips from the scoliosis, which lead to her prosthetic leg.

"It was just learning to accept it early on and learning to accept I couldn't do all the stuff that other kids could do. So I had to go a different route," Hess said. "I think in a way my disability is sort of a blessing for me because I've had a lot of opportunities to compete in sled hockey, adaptive biathlon, and other adaptive sports."

The alternate path is what brought her right here in town to race at the Casper Mountain Biathlon Club. It doesn't stop here though.

"Love to compete in a Paralympic someday, one of these days. That's going to be my goal now is to compete in a Paralympic event, whether I'm old or young."

No matter what age, Hess tackles every mountain with a smile, reporting in Casper, Megan Salle, K2 Sports.