Disabled Sports USA Hosts 26th Annual The Hartford Ski Spectacular, Bringing Together More than 800 Participants Including Members of the U.S. Paralympic National Teams

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Seven-day event unites more than 800 youth and adults with disabilities ranging in ability from first-time skiers to members of the U.S. Paralympics teams preparing for the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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, 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. Paralympics National Teams, will come together.

The Hartford Ski Spectacular strengthens and expands adaptive snow sports programs in communities throughout the U.S. and helps identify and train youth, wounded warriors, and others with disabilities who strive to be winter Paralympians. A week of ski and snowboard race training, sponsored by U.S. Paralympics, prepares athletes for national and international competitions, including the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

“As a founding partner of U.S. Paralympics, The Hartford is proud to partner with Disabled Sports USA for two decades on this incredible event that has become a birthplace of champions,” said Mike Concannon, executive vice president of The Hartford’s Group Benefits business. “We are honored to support all of the amazing U.S. Paralympic athletes and hopefuls.”

“U.S. Paralympics is proud to support The Hartford Ski Spectacular,” said Charlie Huebner, chief of U.S. Paralympics. "Many of the athletes skiing and snowboarding at this event will be representing the U.S. at the Paralympic Winter Games in March in Sochi, Russia.”

The Hartford Ski Spectacular’s Presenting Sponsor is 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.

“We are very proud to be a partner of U.S. Paralympics,” said Kirk Bauer, executive director of Disabled Sports USA. “Paralympic athletes are not only training at The Hartford Ski Spectacular, but they are also coaching and mentoring wounded warriors and youth who are coming to the event to improve their skills.”

Partnering organizations include: Disabled American Veterans, Maggie George Foundation, Professional Ski Instructors of America- American Association of Snowboard Instructors National Adaptive Academy (PSIA-AASI), 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.

About U.S. Paralympics
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympics Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with disabilities. Through education, sports programs, and partnerships with community organizations, medical facilities, and government agencies, U.S. Paralympics is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people with physical disabilities people every day. Visit http://www.usparalympics.org for more information.

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