Achieve Tahoe Hosts 10th Annual Anthem Winter Ski Festival

Category: Press Release
Injured Veterans to Participate in 10th Annual Anthem Winter Ski Festival, January 22-25, 2019 in Tahoe

Achieve Tahoe to Host Annual Camp for Veterans with Disabilities from Across the Country

Contact: Deidre Kennelly, deidre@achievetahoe.org, 530-999-2284. 
Please RSVP for media pass and further information regarding interview opportunities with participating veterans and instructors.

[Alpine Meadows, Calif.] Jan. 22, 2019 – Achieve Tahoe, a leading provider of winter and summer adaptive sports instruction for adults and children with disabilities, will host its 10th annual Anthem Winter Ski Festival January 22-25, 2019 in North Lake Tahoe. Sponsored by Anthem Blue Cross, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Warfighter Sports, a program offered by Disabled Sports USA, the program provides a group of veterans who were wounded during their service with complimentary ski and snowboard lessons, overnight accommodations in the Village at Squaw Valley, meals and transportation.

On Friday, Jan. 25, journalists and media are invited to Squaw Valley to see a demonstration of adaptive ski equipment in use on the hill. They will also be offered the opportunity to conduct interviews with program participants and instructors, as a way to learn about these heroes’ inspiring stories and journeys firsthand, and understand the benefits these programs have provided them.

“Achieve Tahoe is excited to once again provide specialized instruction to our servicemen and women with disabilities and help them build confidence, independence and find healing through this great event.” said Haakon Lang-Ree, executive director of Achieve Tahoe. “Thanks to the support of Anthem Blue Cross, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Disabled Sports USA, this event has a tremendous impact on the participants and their families and it will continue to be an annual tradition.”

“Anthem is once again very proud to be the lead sponsor for this event, which reflects our commitment to improving people’s lives and the communities we serve,” said Greg Poulakos, president of Anthem’s Life and Disability business. “Over the last 10 years of sponsoring this event, it’s been incredible to see the men and women who have given so much to this country re-engaging in activities that are challenging, exciting and help to enhance their active lifestyles.” 

The injured veterans will travel to the area from all over the country to participate in specialized private ski and snowboard instruction that will be specifically designed to support their physical therapy, boost their emotional well-being, build their confidence and ultimately help their reintegration into their communities. The attendees are also invited to bring a guest to share in their experience, and to provide them with support and encouragement.

This year’s event includes a special guest speaker, retired U.S. Army Corporal Steve Martin, who served in the U.S. Army and National Guard for eight years. Martin was injured in Afghanistan in 2008 by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while on operations as a State Department contractor. As a result of his injuries, he lost both legs below the knee. “After I was injured, I didn’t think I would walk, much less ski. Thanks to participating in adaptive sports, my life went from ’what do I do now?’ to ’what do I do next?’ said Martin. Determined not to be limited by his injury, Martin not only learned to walk again, but he’s also competed in more than 20 half marathons, three full marathons and completed a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Martin recently retired from his job as an Arizona State Trooper and was the only double-leg amputee in the country serving as a patrol officer.

About Achieve Tahoe 
Achieve Tahoe is a North Lake Tahoe-based non-profit organization that provides year-round outdoor recreation programs for children and adults with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities. The organization, founded in 1967, is the longest operating adaptive sports program in the country, and is dedicated to providing affordable, inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence through winter and summer programs. To learn more or to help, visit www.achievetahoe.org.

About Anthem
Life and Disability products underwritten by Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. To learn more about Specialty benefits, visit www.specialtybenefits.info/ca/.

Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967, Disabled Sports USA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness through participation in sports. What began as a program to serve Vietnam veterans has since grown into one of the nation’s largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, annually serving more than 60,000 wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA offers programs in more than 50 summer and winter sports through its nationwide network of more than 120 community-based chapters. For more information, visit their website.

Warfighter Sports
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for wounded warriors with permanent physical disabilities in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. in partnership with a nationwide network of over 120 community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 50 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities. Expenses for participation of the warrior and a family member are covered, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals. Since 2003, more than 13,000 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage. For more information, visit their website.   


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