James Gemmell was inspired to play sledge hockey after watching Canada win the gold medal at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Italy.
Soon afterwards, he joined the B.C. Eagles club in Surrey. By 2008, he was on the national team and became the first British Columbia-born player to represent Canada internationally in sledge hockey. He made the team at a National Sledge Hockey Selection Camp in Milton, Ont. Gemmell made his debut at the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in 2008 as Canada won the gold medal.
He has since helped Canada to more gold at the IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship and World Sledge Hockey Challenge in 2013, the 2011 World Sledge Hockey Challenge and at the 2012 Four Nations Cup in Nagano, Japan. Gemmell also took home bronze at the 2012 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Hamar, Norway.
In training, he works on his upper body strength in the gym and also does kayaking. He says that upper body and core strength are the keys to sledge hockey success.
Gemmell, 33, had his right leg amputated above the knee after an automobile accident in 2004.