WINTER PARK - When 19-year-old Jamie Stanton watched the Olympics, he may have been focused on different things than the usual viewer. Stanton is an amputee getting ready for his first Paralympics.
"I am going to Sochi for the slalom, giant slalom, Super G and Super Combined," Stanton said.
He grew up in Michigan, but now attends the University of Denver. Stanton has trained for two years with the National Sports Center for the Disabled at Winter Park Ski Resort.
"When I came here, I was an average skier and now I feel like I am one of the best in the world," Stanton said.
In fact, he is. Stanton is the top ranked American upright ski racer going to the Paralympics. He is ranked around tenth in the world in slalom and giant slalom.
"Everyone here has a great attitude," Stanton said. "They enforce that attitude and they make some of the best ski racers in the world."
Stanton is just one of 34 athletes headed to Sochi who have trained at the NSCD. Becky Zimmermann is the president and CEO for the organization. She says athletes from multiple countries come to Winter Park to train.
"In Vancouver 2010, if NSCD was a country, we would've won the third most medals in Alpine skiing," Zimmermann said. "This year, we have more athletes going to Sochi."
Zimmermann says her coaches simply to help people reach their full potential no matter what disability they face.
"People come to us at NSCD, they discover themselves," Zimmermann said.
Stanton says he is proud and honored to represent America in the Paralympics.
"Being my first games, I am gonna take everything just as a learning experience," Stanton said.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)