Anthony Gale, sledge hockey

Anthony Gale, 20, will be competing in his first Paralympic Games when he hits the ice in Sochi, Russia. Fun fact: he is distantly related to Samuel Morse, the inventor of the Morse code. (Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee)

At the 2013 IPC World Championships, Anthony Gale showed he will be a force to reckon with at the Sochi Paralympics. Gale set up Graeme Murray with a perfect pass on the winning goal in the final as Canada defeated the U.S. 1-0 in the gold medal game.

Gale, 20, was born with spina bifida, a neural tube birth defect that affects the spinal cord. He was named to the national sledge hockey team in 2010 at age 17 after impressing the coaching staff at a team orientation camp in Petawawa, Ont. He was chosen from a group of 30 prospects, the youngest player selected for the team that year by at least four years.

A former Team Ontario member, Gale played eight years with the Cruisers Sports for the Physically Disabled Junior and Intermediate squads in Mississauga, Ont., earning the team’s Most Valuable Player Award on several occasions.

Gale also participated in wheelchair basketball with the Cruisers and is a past ambassador for the Rotary Club of Brampton’s Easter Seals campaign. He also spent his spare time volunteering with young children with physical disabilities through a Cruisers multi-sports program.

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee