Skiing Sight Unseen | New England College

Skiing Sight Unseen

February 03, 2023
Visually impaired skiier Abby Duffy

by Michael Rupp, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications

“I started skiing when I was nine.” Abby Duffy (Psychology and Criminal Justice ’26) of the New England College alpine skiing team explained how she got into the sport that is her passion. “That was three years after I became blind. I really liked it the first time, and I picked it up fast. And then I first started racing when I was in high school.”

The first-year NEC student-athlete from Concord, New Hampshire, first began competitive skiing at Concord High School and says her long-term goal is to represent the United States of America in the Paralympics.

“Basically, as a disabled athlete, it’s very similar to being an able-bodied athlete.” She explained the process. “The Paralympics have to determine which level of disability you are. With blindness, there’s B one, two, and three, and I’m probably a B-3, but they have to do an [extensive] eye test to prove it. They have to test my vision and then give me a ranking. That ranking will tell me kind of what [level] I’m skiing at and [my scoring]. Once [my results] actually get classified, that’ll be quite a big step towards the events for getting to the Paralympics, hopefully in 2026.”

Duffy’s dream has taken her far beyond the borders of her native New Hampshire. “I’ve been on the National Ability Center high-performance team for three or four years, which is a team out of Park City in Utah. It’s basically like there’s an adaptive out there that has a race team.” Duffy said, expanding on her skiing career. “There’s also a race team out of an adaptive in Colorado. And then we’ve done some national-level adaptive races that are primarily in the U.S. but sometimes in Canada, and then hopefully eventually those races are going to lead me to the Paralympics.”

Now, her journey has taken her to New England College.

“I have really high hopes for how I’m going to improve this season on the college team and how I can get better so that I can better help the team going [forward].”

Coming off a meet at Pats Peak this past January—the Pilgrims’ first home meet since 2019—she posted times of 1:18.97 and 1:15.05 in the Women’s Slalom. Prior to that meet, she competed at Pleasant Mountain in Bridgeton, Maine, the previous weekend and posted times of 51.29 and 51.07 in the Women’s Giant Slalom, totaling a result of 1:50.09.

And she’s enjoying the NEC campus community, as well.

“I think a small school makes it easier to get involved in our community,” Duffy says. “I have two work studies right now, including in admissions. I’ve taken some freshman tours, and that’s been really fun because I get to kind of see the school from a slightly different perspective. I’m in a bunch of different clubs on campus, and the entire school as a whole is really welcoming to everyone, and it’s kind of as much as you want to get involved, you can get involved.”

For continuing coverage of New England College Athletics, visit and follow the Pilgrims on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Learn More
Apply to NEC
 Explore NEC Athletics
NEC Men’s Hockey Wins 2022 Stovepipe Tournament
Behind the Scouting Report: How Jamal Allen Left His Mark Beyond the Three-Point Line in Henniker
Student Spotlight: Asia Jones

Your Future Starts at NEC