IPC Ice Sledge Hockey will devote one week to previewing each of the teams competing at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
With just 60 days to go until the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games begin, IPC Ice Sledge Hockey is commencing its “8 for 8” series, which from now through early March will preview all eight ice sledge hockey teams competing at the Paralympics.
The Sochi 2014 Games will run from 7-16 March, with the ice sledge hockey competition starting on 8 March at Shayba Arena and finishing with the gold-medal game on 15 March.
Each week for the next eight weeks, Paralympic.org will dedicate a week to each of the countries competing in the sport. A wealth of Sochi 2014 ice sledge hockey preview content will be unrolled, including news and feature stories, athlete blogs, team infographics, social media quotes and YouTube video playlists.
Ice sledge hockey fans are encouraged to share their thoughts on the teams each week by tweeting at @IPCISH using the hashtags #8for8 or #RoadToSochi.
Paralympic.org will preview the teams in reverse order of their tournament ranking. The teams head into Sochi 2014 ranked in the following order: No. 1 Canada, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Russia, No. 4 Czech Republic, No. 5 Norway, No. 6 South Korea, No. 7 Italy, No. 8 Sweden.
Canada, led by forwards Greg Westlake and Brad Bowden, are the defending world champions, while the USA, anchored by top scorer Josh Pauls and goaltender Steve Cash, are the defending Paralympic champions. The Americans are the only ones to have won multiple golds (2002 and 2010) on the Parlaympic stage.
Host nation Russia, powered by forward Dmitry Lisov, will be the only team from the eight making their Paralympic debut in Sochi.
Along with Russia, the Czech Republic, South Korea and Italy are still seeking their first Paralympic medal in the sport.
Ice sledge hockey has been a part of the Paralympic Winter Games programme since 1994 and will be one of five sports contested in Sochi.