© Moved United Press

From December 3 to 9, the 36th annual Hartford Ski Spectacular will take place at Beaver Run Resort and Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado, organized by Move United.

The event will bring together over 800 athletes, ranging in ability from novice skiers to elite adaptive athletes, providing opportunities to participate in six adaptive sports. 

The Hartford Ski Spectacular stands as one of the nation's largest and longest-running adaptive winter sports festivals for individuals with disabilities. "The Hartford Ski Spectacular has been a transformative event in the lives of thousands for over three decades," said Glenn Merry, executive director of Move United. "For 30 years, The Hartford has been a steadfast ally to the disability community, demonstrating unwavering commitment to advancing adaptive sports in our country." 

During the festival, The Hartford, alongside the most decorated U.S. Winter Paralympian in history, Oksana Masters, and Paralympic Medalist Keith Gabel, will surprise 13 deserving athletes with custom-fit adaptive sports equipment on Wednesday, December 6. 

Adaptive athletes typically pay approximately 15 times more for equipment than non-adaptive athletes. Over the past five years, through its Adaptive Sports program, The Hartford has provided 5,000 pieces of adaptive sports equipment that has positively impacted more than 40,000 individuals in over 40 communities across the U.S. 

"We are honoured to celebrate 30 years as the title sponsor of The Hartford Ski Spectacular," said Jonathan Bennett, Head of Group Benefits at The Hartford. "As a leading disability insurer, we have seen the power sports have on getting people back to living active and productive lives. Our longstanding partnership with Move United is helping to break down barriers to participation, making it possible for more youth and adults with disabilities to enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of sports." 

In collaboration with the city's Ullr Fest, Move United is hosting the "Race for everyBODY" on Friday, December 8, at Breckenridge Ski Resort. This inclusive event will feature adaptive athletes but is also open to the general public.

Moreover, over 60 wounded military veterans, service members, family, and military medical staff from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, San Antonio Military Medical Center, Fort Carson Soldier Recovery Unit, as well as veterans from nearly a dozen VAs and communities across the U.S., will participate in the event as part of their rehabilitation. Since 2003, Move United has served more than 18,500 severely wounded veterans, service members, and family members, offering adaptive sports programs in more than 70 different adaptive sports in 45 states through a national network of more than 225 member organizations. "At The Hartford Ski Spectacular, I've learned a lot and have become a better snowboarder. It is a great opportunity for me to build on my skills, but it really inspired me to want to be a recreational therapist and instructor," said Warfighter and Marine Corps veteran Cristian Martinez.

About Move United

Move United is the national leader in community adaptive sports, empowering 125,000 youth and adults with disabilities each year to live to their fullest potential. Move United's 225 member organizations in 45 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