Slovaks reveal a history-making squad for Beijing

Slovakia is making its Paralympic debut with the 15-member squad only 12 years since starting Para ice hockey in the country 23 Feb 2022
A group of Para ice hockey players on sledges celebrating the victory with a group hug.
Slovakia is playing in Group B against Czech Republic, Italy, and China in its inaugural Paralympic Winter Games appearance.
ⒸCzech Para Ice Hockey
By World Para Ice Hockey

Slovakia has already made history on the ice at Beijing 2022, with its men’s hockey team winning the bronze medal to take its first piece of hardware in the sport in Olympic history.

Now, it is time for more. Slovakia will send a Para ice hockey team to compete at the Paralympic Winter Games for the first time, and this week named its 15-member squad.

Only 12 years since starting Para ice hockey in their country, two years since it made its World Championship B-Pool debut, and less than a year since making its A-Pool debut, Slovakia has progressed to the biggest stage possible in the sport.

Slovakia’s Para ice hockey team is led by forward Martin Joppa, who 10 years ago scored Slovakia’s first international goal when the programme started.

He was formerly a stand-up ice hockey goaltender before being hit by a drunk driver in 2005. In the sledge, he was Slovakia’s top scorer at the 2021 World Championships with three goals and one assist.

The other forwards on the team include Marian Ligda, Miroslav Stasak, Milos Vecerek, David Korman, Robert Turic, and Ales Raus.


Also anchoring the team will be goaltender Eduard Lepacek, who was named Best Goaltender at the Berlin 2021 Paralympic Qualification Tournament last year, leading with an 87.50 save percentage to go along with his 1.40 goals against average. Miroslav Pastucha, who holds a degree in biology, will be his backup.

On defence, Erik Fojtik brings a wealth of Paralympic experience, having represented the Czech Republic at the Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 Games before switching to compete for his mother’s country of origin.

Fojtik will be joined on defence by teammates Peter Stit, Peter Kascak, Miroslav Kardos, Slavomir Ferencik and Michal Hlinka.

Slovakia will kick off its first Paralympics with a much-anticipated matchup against host nation China on 5 March at the National Indoor Stadium.

The two mentioned teams will be accompanied by Czech Republic and Italy in Group B.