Carleton University’s Rob Armstrong, a second-year student in Law, recently returned from South Korea with a gold medal after competing at the International Paralympic Committee Sledge Hockey World Championships. Armstrong will also be part of Canada’s men’s national sledge hockey team competing at the Paralympics in 2018.
“Now that it has had time to sink in, it’s pretty clear what made our team world champions,” said Armstrong. “While our season had ups and downs, the hard work that the staff and team put in during the season was rewarded with the defeat of the U.S. team.
“What makes this accomplishment even greater is that I celebrate it with a passionate group of coaches, staff and 16 other players who battled and made sacrifices all season to get here. Proud to be Canadian and proud to be a Raven.”
Canada’s national para-hockey team rebounded from a preliminary-round loss to the U.S. by defeating the Americans 4-1 in the gold medal game.
The gold medal win gives Canada its fourth world title, after winning gold in 2000, 2008 and 2013. Canada’s last para-hockey championship was also won in South Korea, when the team defeated the U.S. four years ago.
The International Paralympic Committee describes sledge hockey as an innovative team sport that incorporates the same rules and discipline structure as able-bodied hockey. Three Swedish wheelchair athletes invented the sport in 1961. Instead of skates, players use double-blade sledges that enable the puck to pass underneath the player. Players use two sticks, which have a spike-end for pushing their sled and a blade-end for shooting. It is a fast-paced sport that is enjoyed by athletes with physical disabilities in their lower bodies.