Insurer, business partners give 100 sport wheelchairs to back city’s bid for 2016 Games, inspire new generation of Paralympic athletes
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) and U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, announced today the donation of 100 new sport wheelchairs to community-based Paralympic sports programs in Chicago to support the city’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and foster recreational and competitive sport opportunities for people with physical disabilities.
The Hartford and U.S. Paralympics partnered with Chicago 2016 and World Sport Chicago for The Hartford’s Paralympic Chairs for Champions – the Road to Chicago 2016, which will be held today in Daley Plaza to mark Paralympic Sports Day during Olympic Week in America. U.S. Paralympians Greta Neimanas and Paul Schulte will be among the elite athletes demonstrating the sports of judo, tennis, cycling, wheelchair basketball, and boccia today from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Hartford’s Paralympic Chairs for Champions is a collective effort by The Hartford (62 wheelchairs), U.S. Paralympics (25), Aon (five), CNA (five), Laurus Strategies (two), and Hartford Hospital (one). Invacare Corporation is supplying 100 Invacare® Top End® Transformer™ All Sport wheelchairs, the brand used by Paralympians around the world.
“We hope these 100 sport wheelchairs will inspire the athletic ambitions of scores of men, women and children with physical disabilities in the region and result in a new generation of U.S. Paralympians competing in 2016 Games in Chicago,” said Connie Weaver, senior vice president of marketing and communications for The Hartford, the founding sponsor of U.S. Paralympics. “Today’s donation furthers our mission of helping people of all abilities protect and grow their financial and physical well-being.”
“Our U.S. Paralympic Team is one of the strongest ever thanks to the support of corporate partners, such as The Hartford,” said Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics, U.S. Olympic Committee. “The donated wheelchairs will not only offer more individuals with physical disabilities the opportunity to experience Paralympic sport, they will also help athletes who aspire to someday compete as part of Team USA.”
“Chicago 2016 and World Sport Chicago are dedicated to increasing participation in sport among Chicagoans, particularly youth,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “Even as a Candidate City for the 2016 Games, we have the opportunity to inspire youth to become involved in sport and bring the community together to make sport programs more accessible to everyone. We thank The Hartford for their continued support of U.S. Paralympics and for making such a positive investment in the sport community in Chicago.”
photos Janos Schmidt