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Roundup: See Dan Cnossen’s Inspirational Climb on ‘60 Minutes’

by Alex Abrams

Dan Cnossen at the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 (Photo by Mark Reis/ USOPC)

Dan Cnossen’s Inspirational Climb Featured on “60 Minutes”

Over the years, Dan Cnossen has shared his inspirational story as a former Navy SEAL who lost his legs in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan in 2009.


The seven-time Paralympic medalist in Nordic skiing told his story again, this time to a room full of grieving widows from Ukraine. CBS’ “60 Minutes” captured the moment and aired a new profile about Cnossen on Nov. 26.


Cnossen, who was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with Valor for his military service, recently climbed to the summit of the Kitzsteinhorn (10,508 feet) in Austria. It was his first time climbing since he lost his legs, and it was for a good cause.


The three-time Paralympian used specially designed prosthetics to climb with Mountain Seed Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides healing to families of war-torn countries.


In the “60 Minutes” profile, Cnossen is shown offering words of encouragement to widows and children from Ukraine. He told them that doctors had to “take” his legs following the explosion to save his life.


“I had written off mountaineering,” Cnossen told “60 Minutes. “I didn’t really think it was possible to be honest.”


Cnossen is a member of the U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing national team, and he has been training for the upcoming season in Canmore, Alberta.


The official Instagram account for U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing posted a photo of Cnossen on Nov. 11, which was Veterans Day, to honor those adaptive skiers who served in the military.

Oksana Masters Returns To Where She Suffered Season-Ending Injury

Oksana Masters is excited to be back on snow and again training in Canmore.


Masters, a 17-time Paralympic medalist and the most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian of all time, missed last season because of an injury to her left hand that required surgery.


She recently shared on Instagram a photograph of herself racing in Canmore.


“Starting completely over isn’t easy mentally or physically, but it sure feels good to finally put a race bib back on especially back on the same course where my injury took me out of the whole @parasnowsports season last year,” Masters wrote on Instagram. “It’s been a challenging road to get back on snow but I’m back! So much work to be done.”

Masters, a six-time Paralympian in three sports, wrote that she’s approaching this season as a way of “celebrating and being in the moment of being back on snow with the @usparanordicski team and putting on some race bibs.”

Masters also noted that her left middle finger now permanently sticks out when she skis because of last season’s injury.


“It’s going to make for some epic pics,” Masters joked.


Dani Aravich No Longer Hides Her Arm

Dani Aravich is embracing her physical impairment and no longer hiding it in photographs.


A two-time Paralympian, Aravich was born without her left hand and forearm. She wrote on Instagram that she used to conceal her shortened left arm in photos, but she has stopped doing that.


Aravich shared on Instagram a photo of herself when she recently got dressed up to attend the Women’s Sports Foundation’s Annual Salute to Women in Sports in New York. Her left arm is visible in the photo.


“Did I used to cover my left arm in photos? Absolutely,” Aravich wrote on Instagram. “BUT NO MORE! Embrace the nub in all pics. Seriously…. Show off your disability friends.”

Alex Abrams has written about Olympic sports for more than 15 years, including as a reporter for major newspapers in Florida, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He is a freelance contributor to USParaNordicSkiing.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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