“If you have the drive and determination to achieve your goals, you can do anything.”
The USA’s 16-year-old ice sledge hockey star Brody Roybal stole the show at the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards on Wednesday evening (4 March) in Chicago, Illinois.
Roybal, a member of the USA’s gold-medal winning sledge hockey team at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and a Northlake, Illinois, resident, was this year’s March of Dimes “Inspirational Athlete” award winner.
In his first-ever Paralympic match last year, Roybal scored two goals to help lead the Americans to a 5-1 opening victory over the Italians to help set the pace for the rest of their tournament. So far this season, Roybal has three goals and three assists in five games.
During the awards ceremony, Roybal had the chance to rub shoulders with other winners, including legendary Chicago White Sox captain Paul Konerko of the MLB, Chicago Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell of the NHL and Chicago Bears starting right guard Kyle Long of the NFL.
The ceremony was televised live on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, an affiliate of NBC Sports, and during the broadcast Roybal received words of praise from viewers on Twitter, who were in agreement that his acceptance speech was the highlight of the night.
“If you have the drive and determination to achieve your goals, you can do anything,” was Roybal’s advice to the crowd.
Immediately after the ceremony, the NFL’s Long tweeted to his 129,000 followers just two words: “BRODY ROYBAL.”
Next up for Roybal, he will try to lead the USA to a world title on home ice when the Americans host the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, New York, from 26 April – 3 May.