Paonia, CO

I'm Hailey Griffin, a strong-ass woman and mother, and if that's all you know about me, I'm more than happy. My journey began with a significant challenge: an L1 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in January 2019. From feeling like a sad, scared, "disabled" girl, I have transformed into a force to be reckoned with.

I discovered monoskiing in 2020, and since then, I haven't looked back. By 2023, I had already secured 2nd and 3rd place podium finishes, as well as a 4th place, at the US and Canadian Nationals. The Winter Park Open in 2024 saw me taking home 1st and 2nd place medals. I was also featured in a full-length ski film, Advice for Girls, which advocates for equitable treatment of women in the outdoor and ski industries.

The 2022-23 season was a milestone as I conquered two first descents in a monoski at Snowbird, Utah: Great Scott and North Chute, alongside a few of my monoskiing teammates. Recently, I clinched 1st place at Crested Butte, Colorado's 2023 Adaptive Mountain Biking World Championships. Admittedly, the competition in my category is sparse, and I welcome anyone to come and race me.

In the fall of 2022, I completed the White Rim Trail on my e-assist Stinger with a group of adaptive riders, supported by the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP) and Rim Tours, Moab. I also contributed to the creation of Crested Butte's Community Compass, advocating for better accessibility throughout the town. It's a place so beautiful that everyone should be able to explore its wonders.

I'm deeply involved with several foundations supporting adaptive athletes, such as Sisters in Sports and High Fives. Additionally, I volunteer with adaptive programs like the Adaptive Sports Center, Telluride Adaptive Sports Program, and the National Ability Center. Witnessing the spark in the eyes of participants who realize they can partake in sports again is incredibly rewarding. That moment of discovery—that anything is possible with enough desire and the right support—is what it's all about. It gives me chills every time.

For me, competition is not just about winning. My goals are to have fun, to learn as much as I can about skiing, and to support the friends and family around me, many of whom share the same crazy dream. Of course, I also enjoy showing off a little while I'm at it. It's about forming relationships through racing and tackling challenges together. The growth and progression we experience aren't just for us but for those who deal with us every day.

I never want to find myself doing it for the accolades. I do it for the thrill—the fun! Not necessarily the kind you might imagine, but if you're not enjoying yourself somehow, what's the point? I truly try to appreciate the small things in every day because those matter the most to me. Whether it's a phone call from an old friend, an unexpected encounter with a hummingbird, or a particularly challenging run on the hill, I strive to stay present. Life can change or end in an instant, so I'm determined to make the most of it.

When I'm not chasing my dreams on the slopes, you'll find me in my 1989 Chevy van, exploring back roads and keeping the adventure alive. This journey has been about more than just overcoming physical limitations; it's about embracing life fully, inspiring others, and proving that with determination, anything is possible.

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