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Presidential Lecture Series

Steve Baskis

Recognition Year: 

Advocate for disability by adventure exploration and adaptive recreation. SPC, U.S. Army-Ret.

April 16, 2015

5:30 p.m. Public Reception
E156 Student Union

7 p.m. Lecture
Apollo Room, Student Union

Co-sponsored with Veteran & Military Center and Office of Disability Services

Steve Baskis is a blind veteran, adventurer, speaker, and advocate for disability awareness through adventure exploration and adaptive recreation. Blindness instilled in Baskis a drive to test his own potential and push the boundaries of what disabled people are perceived capable of doing.

His desire to serve in the military, as his father and grandfather did, led Baskis to enlist in the U.S. Army. Just eight months into his first deployment, in 2008, a roadside bomb in Iraq left him permanently blinded.

One year later, Baskis climbed with the first U.S., Canada, and Mexico blind team to the top of the eighth tallest peak in North America. He later joined a group of disabled veterans to climb 20,000-foot Mount Lobuche in the Himalayas. That Soldiers to Summits trip was recorded for the documentary film High Ground.

Baskis has ascended to new heights every year and developed a love and passion for competitive sports and outdoor recreation. He has also:

  • Climbed or attempted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Russia’s Mount Elbrus, a Mexican volcano, a 14,000-foot Rocky Mountain peak, and Colorado’s Bastille Crack
  • Navigated whitewater rapids on the Yellowstone River
  • Trained with the U.S. Paralympic cycling team
  • Participated in:
    • Nordic skiing
    • Biathlons
    • Marathons
    • Triathlons
    • Scuba diving
    • Snowshoeing

Steve Baskis has challenged and shattered people’s perception of blindness through his advocacy as well as his example.

From grade school assemblies to corporate events, Baskis has given motivational and informative presentations to a wide range of organizations. He is excited to inspire and raise awareness through adventure and exploration.