PyeongChang 2018: Spotlight on Para ice hockey

Canada-USA rivalry headlines the sport at the Paralympic Winter Games 06 Mar 2018 By IPC

Para ice hockey will be one of the biggest spectator attractions at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

The sport is similar to its stand-up version, with some adjustments. Players sit in specially designed sledges that have two hockey skate blades. Each player has two sticks with metal pics on the butt end that allow players to propel themselves. Goalkeeper wears leg pads, body pads, a helmet with a visor and a catcher glove to protect the athlete from pucks flying up to 100 km/h.

Athletes competing in Para ice hockey have a lower limb impairment.

The sport made its Paralympic debut at Lillehammer 1994 in Norway, and has appeared in every Games since.

At PyeongChang 2018, eight teams will take the ice at the Gangneung Hockey Centre. Preliminary games will be held 10-13 March, and the medal games from 17-18 March.

Canada enter as the No. 1 seed after defeating reigning Paralympic champions the USA in the gold medal game at the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships A-Pool in April in Gangneung, South Korea. Adam Dixon and Tyler McGregor are among the ones on the Canadian side to watch for.

Defending champions and No. 2 seed USA head up Group B and will try to go for their third Paralympic title, headed by team captain Josh Pauls.

Apart from the Canada-USA rivalry, watch for Lena Schroeder on Team Norway. She is the only female to suit up in Para ice hockey at the Games.

Competition begins on 10 March at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, located in the Gangneung Coastal Cluster.

Tickets for PyeongChang 2018 can be purchased here.