Dominic Larocque, sledge hockey

Dominic Larocque, 26, had his left leg amputated after driving over an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2007. He was introduced to sledge in Montreal in 2009. (Courtesy of Canadian Paralympic Committee)

In 2007, while serving in the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan, the armoured vehicle in which Corporal Dominic Larocque was travelling went over an improvised explosive device. Larocque was left with a broken tibia, fibula and ankle, and a left leg that had to be amputated above the knee. After months in hospital and a year in rehabilitation, he began participating in sports.

“As soon as the rehab was over, I told myself I have to move on,” he said.

Since his accident he has remained in the service of the Canadian Forces, performing administrative duties, maintenance and repair duties. He was introduced to sledge hockey through the Soldier On program, designed to help injured or ill military personnel participate in sport, and also help wounded soldiers readjust to their new life.

Larocque, 26, excelled at hockey, soccer and football as a kid growing up in Quebec City. He was already familiar with the rules and theory behind sledge hockey, but had to adjust to the new technique of moving the puck without the aid of his legs. A Montreal club organized a sledge hockey clinic in 2010 and Larocque made an immediate impression.

Following the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games, he was one of six newcomers to the national sledge hockey team after catching the attention of Team Canada officials at a camp in Petawawa, Ont. Since then he has helped Canada to numerous international successes, including the world title in 2013.

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee