World champion snowboarders Amy Purdy and Evan Strong join The Hartford's team of athlete ambassadors. (Photo: Business Wire)
More than 800 men, women, and children, including Boston Marathon bombing survivors and injured service members, will learn how to ski and snowboard at the nation’s largest winter festival for people with physical disabilities. The Hartford has sponsored the week-long event, organized by Disabled Sports USA, for 20 years.
“The Hartford Ski Spectacular holds a special place in my heart because it’s where my athletic dreams were born,” said Purdy, 34, a double-amputee after a battle with bacterial meningitis. “I am honored to help mentor the Boston Marathon bombing survivors, wounded warriors and other participants. I will encourage them to find their passion and pursue their dreams.”
Purdy and Strong are training to make the U.S. Paralympic Team competing in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which will include the discipline of snowboard cross within the alpine competition for the first time.“It’s been a team effort to have our sport added to the Paralympic Winter Games, and we count The Hartford’s long history of support of Paralympic events and athletes as a major factor,” said Strong, 25, who lost part of his leg as a result of being hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. “Amy and I are looking forward to working with The Hartford to raise awareness about the value of people with disabilities in the workplace, as well as employee benefits that help protect one’s physical and financial well-being.”