Hartford Ski Spectacular for the Disabled

One of the largest winter sports events for people with disabilities, the Hartford Ski Spectacular, will take place at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado from 2 to 9 December 2007. This is the 20th year that Disabled Sports USA is organizing this popular event where participants of all ages are encouraged to enjoy snow sports with the use of adaptive equipment under the guidance of professionals and trained volunteers. The family-oriented environment of the event introduces children and parents alike to the joys of snow skiing and other snow sports, regardless of the nature of a disability.

The goal of Disabled Sports USA is to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to gain and maintain confidence and dignity through active participation in recreation, sports and related educational programs. This non-profit organization was initially established in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans to serve individuals who had been injured in war. This was extended to offer anyone with a permanent disability the opportunity to participate in sports rehabilitation programs on a nationwide scale. Activities available include winter snow skiing, water sports, fitness and special sports events. Participants come from varied backgrounds and include those with visual impairments, spinal chord injury, amputations, dwarfism, head injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other orthopedic and neuromuscular conditions. Participation in sports and recreation that has been adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities is hugely beneficial in overcoming the loss of confidence, depression and isolation that often accompany the reality of disability. It also assists family and friends of the disabled person to unite with them in a new shared activity.

Disabled Sports USA has introduced competitive programs in winter and summer sports as an extension of the initial rehabilitation process. This allows individuals to deal in a positive way with emotions that are stirred up as a result of a disability. The participant can enjoy the excitement of competition and the thrill of victory, as well as learn to cope with, and bounce back from, the disappointment of defeat.

With this in mind, the Hartford Ski Spectacular places much emphasis on the competitive aspect of snow sports. There will be a learn-to-race segment that allows aspiring racers the opportunity to advance their skills alongside the most experienced disabled skiers and coaches in the country. Among the races included in the program are Level II Slalom and Giant Slalom Races, as well as a Corporate Challenge Race where disabled and able-bodied skiers team up for an exhilarating downhill skiing race. The many other activities include Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) Adaptive Academy, DS/USA Sports Mentoring Clinic, Advance Your Skiing/Nordic Skills/Snowboarding and much more!

The Hartford Ski Spectacular has always been a resounding success and there is every reason to expect that the 2007 event to be held at the Beaver Run Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colorado, will be better than ever before. Why not take some time out to discover the excitement of snow skiing – you will be glad you did.