(PRWEB) November 25, 2013
Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) will host the 26th Annual The Hartford Ski Spectacular Dec. 2-8 at Beaver Run Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge, Colo. The seven-day event, sponsored by The Hartford for the past 20 years, is one of the nation’s largest winter sports festivals for individuals with physical disabilities.
More than 800 participants, ranging in ability from first-time skiers to members of the U.S. Paralympic Snowboard National Team, will come together. Also attending will be more than 160 wounded warriors and 15 Boston Marathon bombing survivors, including family members.
The Hartford Ski Spectacular strengthens and expands adaptive snow sports programs in communities throughout the U.S.; trains youth, wounded warriors, and others with disabilities including those who strive to be winter Paralympians; and helps local DSUSA chapters improve their services. A week of ski and snowboard race training, sponsored by U.S. Paralympics, prepares athletes for national and international competitions, including the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
“The Hartford is honored to make it possible for Boston Marathon bombing survivors to participate in this incredibly impactful program,” says Mike Concannon, executive vice president of The Hartford Group Benefits. “We celebrate their strength, resilience and determination in the face of adversity. And we hope they will learn new skills, build confidence and continue with their recovery at The Hartford Ski Spectacular.”
“Learn to” programs in alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, biathlon, sled hockey and curling will be offered. Also, the ski instructor academy endorsed by Professional Ski Instructors of America - American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) will offer training for instructors in the latest and safest adaptive ski techniques for skiers with disabilities.
“We are grateful for The Hartford’s support in serving those severely injured in the Boston Marathon bombing. With over 10 years of experience working with blast victims through our Warfighter Sports program, DSUSA knows what is needed to provide the sports programs that will propel these survivors to success on the slopes and in their lives,” says Kirk Bauer, executive director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran.
The Hartford Ski Spectacular’s Presenting Sponsor is the U.S. Paralympics: Grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. The event is also sponsored by Wash Depot Holdings; Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation; Team Semper Fi; Tee it up for the Troops; Oshkosh Defense; Fluor; Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center and Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Partnering organizations include: Disabled American Veterans, Maggie George Foundation, Professional Ski Instructors of America- American Association of Snowboard Instructors National Adaptive Academy (PSIAAASI), Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, Vail Adaptive Sports, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and Breck Sports. DSUSA chapters supporting the event include: Host chapter Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and chapters Adaptive Action Sports, Adaptive Adventures, National Ability Center, New England Disabled Sports, National Sports Center for the Disabled, Outdoors for All, STRIDE, Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports and Wintergreen Adaptive Sports.
Follow the action at The Hartford Ski Spectacular on Twitter and Facebook. Look for @DisabledSportUS and #skispec on Twitter and Disabled Sports USA on Facebook, as well as @TheHartford on Twitter and Facebook.
About Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967, Disabled Sports USA is a national charitable organization that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in sports. What began as a program to serve Vietnam veterans has since grown into one of the nation’s largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, annually serving more than 60,000 wounded warriors, youth, and adults with disabilities. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA offers programs in more than 30 summer and winter sports through its nationwide network of more than 100 community-based chapters. For more information, visit http://www.disabledsportsusa.org.
About The Hartford
With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford (NYSE:HIG) is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. The company is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at http://www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TheHartford.