Hartford Disabled Sports Ski Spectacular
Hosted by Disable Sports USA
Daily: Dec 04 - Dec 09
Breckenridge Ski Resort
Is now Closed.

In its 30th year, the Hartford Ski Spectacular returns to Breckenridge on December 4th as the Nation’s Largest Winter Sports Festival for people with physical disabilities. With more than 800 registered participants annually, this week-long event includes learn-to-ski and race programs, youth development camps and corporate races.

Among those attending the Ski Spectacular are dozens of men and women in the armed services who recently sustained permanent disabilities. Through Warfighter Sports, they will be given the opportunity to learn a Paralympic sport and thus move forward with their lives.

“One of the most powerful parts of the Ski Spectacular are these wounded warriors who come and are surrounded by people in their same boat. They don’t feel disabled at all when they’re here,” “I think for a lot of the wounded warriors and people first trying to get back on the mountain, once you realize you can ski, you realize everything in your life you thought was difficult as a person with a disability becomes a lot less difficult. You think, ‘if I can get on the mountain to ski, I can do anything, really.’”
Words by Alana Nichols - US Paralympic Gold Medalist


Eric Byerly


Eric Byrly (pictured left) likes hanging out with his frinds, playing video games and alpine skiing. You could say he’s just like any other 19 year-old, but that would be selling him short. Eric Byerly has accomplished more than most could hope to do in a lifetime.

Eric suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury – one doctors still can’t fully explain – that left Eric without the use of his legs, hands and arms. That was back in April of 2014, and since then, he has worked tirelessly to regain movement. Not only has he learned how to walk again, this ambitious teenager has learned to ski again. He’s now in a top divsion for his handicap and age, and just placed first in the Hartford Ski Spectacular Level I Race. Eric tells me he is very excited to re-unite with friends at the HSS in Breckenridge, CO, and make new friends through something he loves most –skiing. Eric tells me being around new and old friends who also have a disability make life seem a little more normal.

Eric is hopeful to qualify for a spot in the Winter Paralympics; something he says wouldn’t be possible if he hadn’t suffered his spinal cord injury. He definitely has found a silver lining in his disability, and looks forward to his budding ski career.



Click the picture above to explore his story!

The event is conducted by Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), a provider of sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with permanent disabilities since 1967.

Please visit Disabled Sports USA for more information.

Event details and schedule