58MPH UPHILL BATTLE

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Korbyn Edmondson. Cystic Fibrosis doesn’t slow him down Article/kate lyons-holestine.

Thirteen-year-old Korbyn Edmondson was recently clocked doing 58 miles per hour. His parents watched, nervously, excitedly and anxiously to see if he was going fast enough to earn a first place finish.

Korbyn, of Colbert, Wash., is currently ranked first in the Inland Empire Youth Ski League. Last year, his first year on the team, he finished third overall. He trains with and competes for the Spokane Ski Racing Association.

“That’s where I’m sitting at right now,” Korbyn said. “I can move as the season goes on.”

Korbyn, along with his teammates, compete all across the Pacific Northwest. This year he has skied Mt. Spokane, 49º North, Schweitzer, Mission Ridge, Snoqualmie, Lookout Pass, Silver Mountain. The championships are scheduled in March at Bluewood.

Korbyn, originally from Wyoming, went skiing for the first time when he was 2-years-old with his parents Shawn and Conney. He has been skiing competitively since he was 5-years-old. He competes in the Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super Giant Slalom.

“It gets your adrenaline going,” Korbyn said. “The speed can be scary when you first begin, but once you get used to it, it’s all straight forward and you just have to focus on getting down the hill.”

He has set a personal goal this season to finish in the top 10 at the Buddy Warner Championships at Mt. Hood. Last year he placed 17th overall.

“I can’t believe I ski that well,” Korbyn said. “I always watch the ski racers that are right in front of me and right behind me in the start gate. They have a killer run and when I get on the course I don’t feel as though I’m that good. When I get to the finish line and see a great score I think, ‘Wow! How did that happen?’”

Korbyn was born with Cystic Fibrosis, which affects his lungs and causes shortness of breath.

“I get shortness of breath quite a bit,” Korbyn said. “I just keep going.”

Korbyn doesn’t let much keep him from meeting goals he sets for himself. Despite missing several days of school last quarter due to illness, he kept to his training schedule as well as he could, maintained a 4.0 grade point average at Mountainside Middle School and played cello in the orchestra.

Korbyn describes himself as adventurous, but never boasts about his accomplishments.

“He is really humble,” said his mother, Conney. “It is humbling to a parent to think that God blessed you with a child that has a talent like that.”

Korbyn has a goal of making the U.S. Olympic team.

“I’d like to at least make the World Cup, but I really want to make the Olympic team,” he said. “You are eligible to make the Olympics when you turn 16 and you don’t just get there. It is a long, long process. The chances of getting in when you are 16 are highly unlikely, but it is possible.”

Korbyn also plans to study to become a trauma nurse when he enters college.

Conney Edmondson said that she encourages Korbyn to try everything.

“Even when they might fail or know they will fail,” she said. “It is important to teach them to realize we are all different, we all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. We are all loveable and can accomplish things we could never imagine when we try.”

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