Paralympian Shares Sled Hockey with Great Falls - News, Sports and Weather

Paralympian Shares Sled Hockey with Great Falls

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Adam Page doesn't let a disability stop him from playing the game that he loves. The 22-year-old sled hockey forward is paralyzed from the waste down. But his competitive spirit can be measured by not one but two paralympic gold medals that he won in Vancouver and Sochi.

"I've been through a lot with the team," says Paralympian Adam Page. "I've been on the team for seven years now. I bring a lot of experience and also too it comes with responsibility."

Adam is using his international experience to share his passion for sled hockey. It might be difficult to pick up at first, but given proper training, anyone from children to junior hockey players can be skating like pros.

"This is where it all started for me way back a long time ago," says Page. "It's just really cool to be able to give kids the opportunities that I've been given growing up and being able to play Sled Hockey and seeing their faces out here and smiles and just being able to be out here with kids just like themselves is pretty special."

Adam has Spina Bifida, which is Latin for "Split Spine." Spina Bifida is when a person is born with a hole in their spine. Normally doctor's have to perform surgery to close the hole which can damage nerves. But it hasn't prevented Adam from using Sled Hockey to be an example to others, including nine-year-old Luke Hollenback.

"Hockey is like my favorite sport," says Hollenback, who also has Spina Bifida. "I get to be out there and learn how to skate on ice. It's just amazing. Being out on the ice."

There was a time where Luke would get tired fast just by being out on the ice. But after working with Adam, he's able to score goals a lot more often.

"I don't know. I've been practicing. Doing a lot of shooting out there. And I counted a lot," says Hollenback.

No one has seen Luke's progress more than Eagle Mount Program Coordinator Jill Van Son

"It will make me cry if I talk about it too much," says Van Son. "But just the progression of…he couldn't hold the sticks. He was tired. He could only be on the ice for 20 minutes. And now he's out on the ice for an hour, an hour and a half. Just the smiles of all the kids faces of accomplishment has been amazing."

"Showing them that even though he has this disability, he can go somewhere and does have somebody to look up to and can make it in life," says Page. "I think that's the best message that you can give all these kids."

And that's a message from the heart that's worth it's weight in gold.

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