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Winter Park Resort to host celebration of NSCD founder’s life

Hal O’Leary, founder of the National Sports Center for the Disabled and a pioneer of adaptive sports, died in June at 94 years old. A celebration of his life will be held 10 a.m. July 23 at Winter Park Resort.

A celebration of life for the late founder of the National Sports Center for the Disabled will be held at Winter Park Resort on July 23.

Friends and community members are welcome to join a celebration of life for Hal O’Leary, who died in June at 94 years old. Starting at 9 a.m. on July 23, Winter Park Resort will offer complimentary gondola rides up to Sunspot Lounge, where the celebration of life will take place around 10 a.m. No RSVP is required.

Parking will be available at the Village Parking Garage and the Bench Lot, with disabled parking in the Moffat lot, the Gondola bus circle and behind Balcony House.



O’Leary is remembered as a pioneer of adaptive skiing, as well as a founder of the NSCD and the Shining Stars Foundation, which helps provide recreation opportunities to children with cancer.

However, O’Leary’s work went beyond Winter Park. He wrote three books about teaching adaptive skiing and traveled the world, helping to bring adaptive ski programs to more than 30 countries. His work expanded past skiing, adapting all sorts of recreation for people with disabilities, like sailing.



On top of those accomplishments, O’Leary coached the US Disabled Olympic Team and went on to be inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame, the US Ski Hall of Fame and the US Disabled Ski Hall of Fame, along with winning a number of awards.

He is survived by siblings Herb O’Leary, Marie Charters and her husband Wayne, Phillip O’Leary and his wife Vonda, sister-in-law Mabel O’Leary, brother-in-law Max Peterson, and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the NCSD or the Shining Stars Foundation in O’Leary’s honor.

 


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