1. Which of these men is the world-class athlete competing in Sochi? They all are.
These eight guys are part of the U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team. They took home gold in the last Paralympic Winter Games and are hoping to repeat in Sochi.
2. Sled hockey’s just like “stand-up” hockey… but different.
Sled hockey is played as aggressively as “stand-up” hockey, on a regulation-size rink — but the players are strapped into sleds and have two sticks.
3. It’s been called “murderball on blades.”
Sled hockey players battle at eye level with two sticks, sharp sled runners, and serrated ice picks.
4. Steve Cash (#34) is Team USA’s starting goalie.
Steve Cash, nicknamed “Money,” is considered one of best sled hockey goalies in the world.
5. Sochi will be Steve’s third Paralympics.
At age three, Steve was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – a cancer of the bone – in his right knee, and his leg was amputated.
6. Forward Brody Robyal (#4) is only fifteen years old.
Still a sophomore in high school, Brody Roybal is the youngest player on the team.
7. Despite his age, he’s just as intense as the more seasoned players on the team.
Brody was born a congenital bilateral amputee.
8. You may have already heard of forward Rico Roman (#23).
Rico is one of the four “wounded warriors” – injured military vets or active duty soldiers – on the sled hockey team.
9. Rico served three tours in the Middle East.
During his last tour, his humvee struck an IED. His injuries were so severe, his leg was amputated.
10. And check out defensemen Nikko Landeros (#15) and Tyler Carron (#11)!
Nikko and Tyler were best friends in high school. They lost their legs in a car accident together, when Tyler was a senior and Nikko was a junior.
11. They’re best buds on and off the ice.
Nikko Landeros and Tyler Carron pushed each other all the way, from the hospital room to the sled hockey rink.
12. The excitement and anticipation is building as the clock is counting down to Sochi…
Watch Steve, Brody, Rico, Nikko, and Tyler — and their twelve teammates — as they compete for gold in Sochi, starting March 7, 2014.
Meet the players and follow their journey to Sochi at pbs.org/icewarriors.