Call him “Spudsy” or call him a prodigy. Whatever the case, Pauls has been a staple on the blue line for the USA since 2008, and he captained his team to gold at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
It was the third straight Paralympic champion team Pauls had been a part of.
Not too many people can say at the age of 17 that they won a Paralympic title at Vancouver 2010; but Pauls can. He was the youngest member on the team, and four years later, his hunger to win helped the USA to Paralympic gold at Sochi 2014.
Pauls racked up eight points for the USA across the 2017 World Championships, only to see his side lose out to fierce rivals Canada in the final.
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 hockey team and has flourished ever since.
At the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool, the US lost out again to Canada, but for Pauls personally the tournament was a success. He scored four goals and added two assists in four games.
In the 2014-15 season, Pauls was named Best Defenceman of the World Championships after holding off champions Canada to carry the US to a 3-0 victory.
In 2015-16, he scored four times and racked-up 10 assists.
Pauls is also one of a kind. A very superstitious athlete, he can often be seen looking towards a Mr. Potatohead figure before each game. If the US 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.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
In 2021 he captained the US team to gold at the World Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and got married to his partner Katie in the same week. "It was a pretty wild week going from a gold-medal game win one Saturday to getting married the next. It was definitely the highlight week of my life for sure. It was a lot of work and planning, but I don't think I could have planned it out better." (paralympic.org, 07 Oct 2021)
In 2019 he released his autobiography titled 'Lessons Learned: My Journey to the Podium'. (friesenpress.com, 01 Jan 2019)
In 2020 he graduated with a master's degree in business administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University in the United States of America. (LinkedIn profile, 01 Jan 2021)
He was named as an ambassador for the NHL's 'Hockey is for Everyone' campaign in February 2018. "I just want to leave the game a little bit better than it was before I came. It's a really exciting initiative to be a part of because hockey's such a great game, and anytime you can push inclusion, whether it's with disability, gender identity or anything like that, it's definitely exciting to be able to do that." (teamusa.usahockey.com, 15 Feb 2018)
He captained the US national Para ice hockey team to gold at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (teamusa.usahockey.com, 01 Aug 2018, 30 Nov 2018)
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