For more than three decades, thousands of participants have experienced the transformational power of #SkiSpec. The week-long event is one of the nation’s largest and longest running winter adaptive sports events for individuals with physical disabilities. More than 650 participants, ranging in ability from first-time skiers to elite athletes, will come together for the event. World champion athletes participating include James Sides, Arlene Cohen, Chris Young, Noelle Lambert, Beatriz Hatz, Matt Scott, Dana Mathewson, and Hailey Danz, all athletes that have competed in summer and winter sports at the international level.
“The Hartford Ski Spectacular has been and continues to be one of those events that truly showcases what’s possible for people with disabilities,” said Glenn Merry, executive director of Move United. “We are excited to be able to once again offer this unique event thanks to our expanded partnership with The Hartford and other supporters.”
As part of their rehabilitation, more than 50 wounded military veterans, service members, family and military medical staff from the U.S. will take part in the event. Wounded or injured service members are coming from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, San Antonio Military Medical Center, Naval Medical Center San Diego, Fort Carson Warrior Transition Battalion, and the Tampa VA. Since 2003, Move United has served more than 15,500 severely wounded or injured veterans, service members and family members, offering nationwide programs in more than 70 different adaptive sports.
“To me, The Hartford Ski Spectacular means freedom and friends. Freedom from the fears of the past and a freedom to fly into a new future with friends I can call family," said retired Army Specialist Kyle Moxley who was injured in Fallujah, Iraq when his infantry unit was hit by a roadside bomb just eight feet away. "I'm just so grateful I can attend a large adaptive ski event like this one at the beginning of the ski season to get started off on the right foot."
At this year’s event, The Hartford and Team Hartford athletes Scott, Mathewson, and Danz will surprise eight deserving athletes with custom-fit adaptive sports equipment to help them participate and excel in winter sports.
“We are honored to serve as the title sponsor of this powerful event for the 28th consecutive year” said Jonathan Bennett, head of Group Benefits at The Hartford. “As a leading provider of disability insurance, we have long understood the power sports can have on transforming people’s lives. That’s why it is with great pride that we partner alongside Move United to make it possible for youth and adults with disabilities to join other adaptive athletes and experience the freedom and exhilaration of this snow sports event.”
The Hartford has been an advocate for the adaptive sports movement and sponsor of athletes with disabilities for more than 25 years, and has a long-held belief that sports are an important part of physical rehabilitation following a disabling illness or injury. In 2019, the insurer created its Ability Equipped® program to make adaptive sports and equipment more accessible to youth and adults with disabilities. Recently, The Hartford announced an expanded partnership with Move United to include a summer competition series and the creation of the Move United OnDemand fitness platform.
The Hartford Ski Spectacular also strengthens and expands adaptive snow sports programs in communities across the country by training staff and volunteers at Move United member organizations through the National Adaptive Academy. In addition, 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.
Through grant support from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Move United and other organizations receive funding to increase, expand and enhance the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities available for disabled veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces to participate in physical activity within their home communities and more advanced U.S. Paralympic and adaptive sport programs at the regional and national levels. VA provides essential equipment and technical support to The Hartford Ski Spectacular. Other event sponsors include: Veritas Capital, Oshkosh Defense, Citi, Wash Depot, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Tee It Up for the Troops, Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center, Breckenridge Ski Resort and Breck Sports.
Move United Member Organization, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, will serve as the host organization for the event. Additional contributing members include Mount Snow Adaptive Sports Inc., Waterville Valley Adaptive Sports. Partnering organizations include Grand Junction VA Medical Center, Professional Ski Instructors of America-American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI), USA Curling and Colorado Adaptive Sports Foundation.
Follow the action at The Hartford Ski Spectacular on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Look for @MoveUnitedSport and #skispec on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. To get involved and pledge support, please visit https://www.moveunitedsport.org.
About Move United
Move United is the national leader in community adaptive sports, empowering 100,000 youth and adults with disabilities each year to live to their fullest potential. Move United’s 200 member organizations in 43 states are united by a single mission: ensuring everyone, regardless of ability, experiences the life-changing power of sport and is fully included in their community.
Move United, an Affiliate of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee, provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to become physically and emotionally stronger through participation in 70 adaptive sports. Established in 1956, Move United offers community-based sports recreation, education and competition that push people further, bring people closer and leave no one on the sidelines. Join our MOVEment at www.moveunitedsport.org.
About The Hartford
The Hartford is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust, and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at https://www.thehartford.com. Follow us on Twitter at @TheHartford_PR.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries under the brand name, The Hartford, and is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut. For additional details, please read The Hartford's legal notice.