BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) — U.S. Paralympians, Wounded Warriors and Boston Marathon survivors are among 800 participants at The Hartford Ski Spectacular going on this week In Summit County — but all eyes were on three disabled young athletes who received a big surprises Thursday.
U. S. Paralympic Medalist and Tokyo hopeful in Triathlon Hailey Danz took to a microphone to make the special announcement.
“We want to make sure that this person is able to ski with their family for many years to come,” Danz said.
With that she presented one of the three sets of adaptive sports gear worth thousands of dollars to the lucky athletes.
For 21-year-old Colleen Murphy, this hasn’t been an easy few years. A paraplegic, she’s had three major surgeries — and recently lost her mom to cancer. That’s why this surprise donation means so much right now.
“I had no clue — I looked at the equipment I was just in shock. I was like, ‘Is that for me?’ I didn’t know who it was for, and then when they said my name I was more shocked — I’m in still in shock,” Murphy told CBS4.
“Independence means the world…The Hartford gave me an opportunity I might not of had before. Adaptive equipment has a very high cost. [It] is not always accessible. They brought me some I’ll be able to use for the rest of my life,” she added.
The week-long event is among the nation’s largest and longest running winter adaptive sports festivals for individuals with physical disabilities.