The Hartford Ski Spectacular, reportedly one of the nation’s largest and longest-running winter adaptive sports festivals, is scheduled to take place December 4-10 at Beaver Run Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colo.

Hosted by Disabled Sports USA, the 30th annual event will include more than 800 participants, ranging from first-time skiers to wounded warriors and members of the US Paralympic Team, including US Paralympic medalists Keith Gabel and Mike Shea.

“Ski Spectacular was the first recreational sports trip I took after my injury,” says retired Army Sergeant Matt Melancon, in a media release from Disabled Sports USA. “Sports have cultivated an attitude of possibility in me, and this really started at Ski Spectacular.”

Among the youth participants this year will be 10-year-old Lilly Biagini, who chose to amputate both of her legs above the knee at age 7 due to a rare muscular condition. This year, Lilly and her family lost everything—including her wheelchair and prosthetics—in a wildfire in Santa Rosa, California that destroyed their home, the release notes.

During the event, “learn to” programs in alpine and Nordic skiing, biathlon, sled hockey, curling, skating, and snowboarding, will be offered.

In addition, per the release, the Hartford Ski Spectacular will also offer a way to strengthen and expand adaptive snow sports programs in communities throughout the country by training staff and volunteers at DSUSA chapters as part of the National Adaptive Academy. 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 and snowboard techniques for individuals with disabilities.

“In this our 50th year in operation, we are thrilled to partner with The Hartford and have the support of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Semper Fi Fund and other generous supporters to kick off the winter season with this premier adaptive sports event for youth and adults with disabilities,” says Kirk Bauer, JD, executive director of DSUSA and disabled Vietnam veteran.

“For 30 years, The Hartford Ski Spectacular has been the go to event for individuals with disabilities to get world-class instruction in skiing and snowboarding and exemplifies how our athletes are achieving their goals and gaining independence through the power of sports.”

The Hartford, a founding partner of US Paralympics, has been the title sponsor of The Hartford Ski Spectacular since 1994.

“The Hartford is honored to sponsor this impactful program,” states Mike Concannon, executive vice president of The Hartford’s Group Benefits business, in the release. “Our partnerships with DSUSA help demonstrate that the will to prevail lives within each of us. With the right resources and a focus on ability, we believe that people can overcome almost anything, including disability.”

[Source(s): Disabled Sports USA, PRWeb]