Ty Wiberg’s love for alpine skiing received an extra boost on Thursday.
The junior at Chippewa Falls Senior High School was one of nine skiers presented with new equipment while taking part in the 31st annual The Hartford Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge, Colorado. The week-long event is hosted by Disabled Sports USA at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge and is one of the nation’s largest winter sports festivals for people with disabilities.
Wiberg has Spina Bifida and has been skiing for about 10 years. He has attended the week-long spectacular for several years, but this year’s was a little more special when the title sponsor The Hartford Financial Services Group presented Wiberg and others with new equipment, including a custom mono ski bucket, ski, outriggers, bindings as well as one-on-one practice sessions with Mike Schultz, a U.S. Paralympic Gold Medalist in Snowboarding.
“I had no idea I would be getting this ability equipment from The Hartford so it’s a really big shock to me,” Wiberg said. “It was just one of the greatest things I could’ve gotten, because it’s going to allow me to further everything on skiing.”
The Chi-Hi junior won state championships this past spring at the WIAA Division 1 state track and field championships in the 100- and 1,600-meter wheelchair events while helping guide the team to a team wheelchair state championship.
But his winters are spent in the powder, and this week he took part in a variety of clinics.
“It’s really exciting and surreal,” Wiberg said of receiving the equipment. “It didn’t really sink in and it’s kind of sinking in now. It’ll take a little bit because none of us were expecting to be presented with brand new stuff to help us. Right now it’s starting to sink in and it’s a great feeling that there’s people out there that believe in me and realize I have big goals for me to help me reach those.”
Ultimately, Wiberg wants to make the United States alpine ski team and race in the Paralympics, but first would like to become IPC rated to he can race nationally and internationally. He’ll return home his weekend with plans to train in Minnesota soon and take part in camps and races throughout the rest of the winter.
“Without the help of The Hartford at this camp or the ability equip I wouldn’t be where I am today with my skiing and I’m just appreciate that and everything they’ve done for me,” Wiberg said.