Move United hosted the 33rd annual The Hartford Ski Spectacular virtually on December 1-3, opening up the event to more participants across the country to experience the multi-winter sports event for people with disabilities. Traditionally, this event is hosted in Breckenridge, Colorado, but the virtual event this year saw1,070 participants from 47 states,the District of Columbia,Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Spain, and Saudi Arabia join the event. Two-thirds of the participantswere new to the event.
Rangingin abilitiesfrom recreational athletes to members of the US Paralympic Team, participants came together over the course of three days to attend 37 virtual sessions designed to strengthen and expand adaptive snow sports programs. Paralympic Medalists Keith Gabel and Brittani Coury, members of the USA Paralympic Snowboarding Team, spoke at the event’s opening and closing ceremonies, respectively. Both athletes have attended the event for several years.
New this year was the virtual Trek to Breck, which encouraged the community of adaptive athletes, instructors, volunteers, and family and friends to collectively trek the 1,995 miles from Hartford, Connecticut, to Breckenridge, Colorado, for the week leading up to the event. In total, 433 registrants completed 7,286 miles, almost quadrupling the goal. Twenty-two teams participated in the event, including the largest team, Team BAM-SEE-YA from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, with 37 individuals. The trek was completed through 11 different sporting activities, including alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, hiking, walking, running, cycling, handcycling, and more.
“We know the transformational power The Hartford Ski Spectacular has had on thousands of participants and instructors for over three decades. And although we couldn’t host this event in person in Breckenridge this year, our hope was to reach even more individuals who have not been able to travel to Colorado for this event in the past,” said Move United Executive Director Glenn Merry. “We are grateful to The Hartford for their steadfast commitment, allowing Move United to continue providing an important physical outlet to help people with disabilities remain healthy, active, and connected.”
“As the pandemic continues to affect how we live and work, it is important to carry on and find ways to stay active and connected,” said Jonathan Bennett, head of Group Benefits at The Hartford. “We are proud to sponsor The Hartford Ski Spectacular for the 27th year and to continue helping people achieve their goals.”