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Call him “Spudsy” or call him a prodigy. Whatever the case, Josh Pauls has been a staple on the blue line for the USA since 2008.
Born without tibia bones in both legs, Pauls had both amputated at just 10 months old.
Just barely breaking into high school, Pauls was named a member of the USA’s ice sledge hockey team and has flourished ever since.
Not too many people can say at the age of 17 that they won a Paralympic gold medal at Vancouver 2010; but Pauls can. He was the youngest member on the team, and four years later, he is still hungry to win.
After coming off a heartbreaking finish at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool against Canada, the Americans were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.
Pauls was an offensive threat in that tournament, scoring four goals and adding two assists in four games. The Green Brook, New Jersey native was also had a plus/minus of plus 12.
Overall, it was a masterful season on the sled for the 21-year-old. During the 2012-13 season, in 16 games Pauls has totaled 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) and only two penalty minutes.
Those are his highest totals yet in his international sledge hockey career. Since he began his career in 2008, Pauls has played in 74 games and accumulated 35 points.
Pauls is also one of a kind. A very superstitious athlete, he can often be seen looking towardsa Mr. Potatohead figure before each game. If the Americans are victorious, a lot of Pauls rituals, such as wearing the same undershirt and throwing a tennis ball with teammate Greg Shaw, stay the same.
Currently a student at Lindenwood University in St. Louis, Missouri, he is in pursuit of a sport management degree with the hopes of one day becoming a professional hockey coach.