U.S. Paralympics

U.S. Paralympics

Nov. 27, 2012, 9:30 a.m. (ET)

Rockville, Md. — Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) will host the 25th annual The Hartford Ski Spectacular Dec. 2-9 at Beaver Run Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort, Breckenridge, Colo. The eight-day event, sponsored by The Hartford, founding partner of U.S. Paralympics, is the nation’s largest winter sports festival for individuals with physical disabilities. More than 800 participants, ranging in ability from first-time skiers to members of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Skiing National Team, will come together. Also attending will be more than 160 wounded warriors and their families.

The Hartford Ski Spectacular strengthens and expands adaptive snow sports programs in communities throughout the U.S.; identifies and train 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 proud to sponsor this incredibly impactful program for the 19th consecutive year,” says Mike Concannon, executive vice president of The Hartford Group Benefits. “Through our partnerships with DSUSA and U.S. Paralympics, we seek to increase awareness about the achievement that’s possible when you focus on ability. We hope all who hit the slopes at The Hartford Ski Spectacular will be inspired as much as they inspire us. They help us see that people with disabilities can do anything.”

The ski instructor academy endorsed by Professional Ski Instructors of America - American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) offers training for instructors in the latest and safest adaptive ski techniques for skiers with disabilities. “Learn to” programs in alpine and Nordic skiing, biathlon, sled hockey, curling and snowboarding are also offered.

“The Hartford Ski Spectacular continues to be an amazing event,” said Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics, United States Olympic Committee. “It’s about so much more than skiing. The relationships, mentors and exposure to sports for people with physical disabilities are life-changing. DSUSA is making an impact in the lives of people with disabilities both on the mountain in Breckenridge, and in communities across the country through its local chapters.”

“We are again excited to partner with The Hartford and have the support of U.S. Paralympics, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and others to offer this premier event for people with disabilities from more than 30 states in the United States and five foreign countries,” says Kirk Bauer, JD, executive director of DSUSA. “The Hartford Ski Spectacular is an ideal event for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness.”

Follow the action at The Hartford Ski Spectacular on the U.S. Paralympics Facebook and Twitter. 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.dsusa.org.

About The Hartford 
The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) is a leading provider of insurance and wealth management services for millions of consumers and businesses worldwide. The Hartford is consistently recognized for its superior service, its sustainability efforts and as one of the world’s most ethical companies. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at http://www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TheHartford. The Hartford announced this past October that its founding partnership of U.S. Paralympics will continue through 2016, affirming nearly two decades of support for U.S. Paralympic athletes.

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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