BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a 25 year tradition in Colorado, but this year some newer sports are catching on at the Hartford Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge.

It’s an event that brings nearly 1,000 people with physical disabilities to the slopes. The event is especially important for wounded soldiers home from war.

“I’m a firm believer now that there’s nothing out there that’s impossible,” said Ralph DeQuebec, who lost his legs in Afghanistan.

DeQuebec had spent the past five months learning a new way to live life.

“I’m an explosives ordinance disposal tech,” he said.

On June 21, things didn’t go as planned on a mission in Afghanistan.

“Next thing I know I’m in the air, and a big loud explosion, and a big white flash, get thrown in the air several feet,” he said. “July 13; the first day I remember. I remember looking down and seeing that my legs were gone. The emotion that set it in, it hit me pretty hard.”

CBS4's Jeff Todd talks with Ralph DeQuebec (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Jeff Todd talks with Ralph DeQuebec (credit: CBS)

That was only 145 days ago. Now he’s learning again. This time it’s the ancient sport of curling, with a newer adaptive twist. It’s just one of the new sports he’s picking up.

“I got to come out here and do the mono ski, do the curling, do the hockey.”

The Hartford Ski Spectacular has added several adaptive sports since its inception, and while there are still skiers on the slopes, organizers say it’s about the emotion at the end of the day.

“For the warriors, this is going to be a life-changing week. They’ve been dealing with pain and medications and operations, and suddenly they’re outdoors,” Kirk Bauer with Disabled Sports USA said.

“A lot of us have been knocked out, knocked down, and just the ability to get back up and start moving on with your life is a big thing that I can pull away from this program,” DeQuebec said.

LINKS: Disabled Sports USA


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