A financial services company that has faced a tough year of its own is continuing to back a major winter sports gathering for people with disabilities.

Hartford Financial Services Inc., Hartford, (NYSE:HIG) is once again sponsoring the week-long Hartford Ski Spectacular.

The event, set to start Dec. 6 in Breckenridge, Colo., will attract about 700 participants, including more than 100 disabled U.S. service members and other participants with disabilities.

Hartford also will sponsor slalom and giant slalom competitions to to prepare the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Some of the “American Wounded Warriors” will take skiing lessons, and others will serve as mentors for other participants with disabilities, Hartford says.

One of the participant-mentors will be Scott Winkler, a soldier who was paralyzed while serving in Tikrit, Iraq. He placed in the top 5 in shot put at the Paralympic Games.