Graeme Murray, sledge hockey

Graeme Murray, 29, began playing sledge hockey in 1995 at age 11. His second cousin Steve Shutt is a five-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. (Courtesy of Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Graeme Murray, 29, is one of the key veterans on the Canadian sledge hockey team heading into the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi. He has already represented Canada at three Paralympics and five IPC World Championships. He scored the winning goal is Canada‚Äôs 1-0 victory over the U.S. in the gold medal final at the 2013 IPC World Championships. 

At the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, he was the youngest player on the Canadian team and ranks the Paralympic gold medal won four years later in Turin as the highlight of his career.

Murray became a paraplegic after he contracted a virus at age three that attacked the nerves in his lower spine. Following his illness he was told he might never play sports at all. But he persevered and at age 11 discovered sledge hockey. It was love at first sight, and four years later at age 15 he became a member of the Canadian men's team.

Off the ice, Murray is a motivational speaker and talks regularly to students throughout Canada about his experiences on and off the ice.

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee