peter_axelsonRacer – Engineer – Designer – Coach – Standards Developer – Instructor

Peter was injured in a climbing accident while he was a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.  He went on to get 2 bachelors’ and a master’s degree at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering Design and Product.

In 1978, Peter designed the ARROYA sit-ski to enable him and hundreds of other wheelchair users to take to the ski slopes with their families and friends.  National competition began in 1979.

In 1981, Peter founded Beneficial Design, Inc. a firm specializing in the design, development and testing of adaptive equipment for people with disabilities. He is Chair of the RENSA Wheelchair Standards Committee, a participant of the ANSI B-77 Ski Lift Standards Committee and Chair of the RESNA Adaptive Sport Equipment Standards Committee for it-skis, mono- ski and bi-skis.

Peter also chaired the development of the Preliminary Programmatic Ski Area Guidelines that have now been implemented by the SD Forest Service.

In 1985, Peter designed and built the first mono-ski in the world with suspension and shock absorber to replace knee function, molded orthotic seating for better control and a latch able chairlift loading mechanism. He used this ski to win the downhill in the 1986 World Disabled Ski Championship in Salen, Sweden.

After racing for eight years as a member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team and medaling in three world championships, Peter started coaching adaptive skiers and instructors.  He is currently an adaptive examiner with the Western Division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America.

Ski Racing Awards

1986 – World Championships, Salen, Sweden – 1st downhill

1988 – World Championships, Innsbruck, Austria – 3rd Giant Slalom

1990 – World Championships, Winter Park, Colorado  – 2nd Slalom, 2nd Giant Slalom, 2nd   Downhill,  1st Super G, 1st Combined