An athlete from Mankato... Showing how to handle life's obstacles.

Hutchens says: "I'm skiing with a very fantastic program called ski for lite."

This is Mike Hutchens. He's had total loss of vision his whole life, but that hasn't kept him off the slopes.

Hutchens says: "I first started with this program in

2013, and have been coming for five years now, and it has really impacted me and my skiing abilities."

 Mike is from Mankato, Minnesota, and he's been skiing for 10 years.

And as his skiing abilities continue to grow, so have his dreams.

Hutchens says: "I am practicing for the paralympics in Winter Park, Colorado."

This week at ski for lite, is the first step, toward reaching his dream of making it to the paralympics.

Mike is working on his form and style...

And the next step takes him to Colorado, where he'll spend four days at the national sports center for the disabled.

There, they will assess his skill, and determine if he is good enough to compete.

Which would hopefully eventually mean competing in the 2018 winter paralympic games.

Hutchens says: "I love the ability to be free. I feel when I come out here that I'm not 'Mike with a blindness,' I'm not Mike with a label, I'm not Mike that has a visual impairment; I'm just my normal self."

-KEYC News 12