Benoit St-Amand, sledge hockey

Benoit St-Amand, 35, has been a member of the national sledge hockey team since 2004. Though he started as a forward, he now plays goalie. (Courtesy of Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Benoit St-Amand made the Canadian national sledge hockey team as a forward in 2004. During his second season, the team was looking for a back-up goalkeeper so he volunteered and served as a replacement at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin.

Those Games turned out to be the biggest highlight of his career to date, as Canada won the gold medal. While St-Amand only played in 30 minutes in Turin, his playing time has increased ever since, ensuring solid goal-tending for Canada at international tournaments. St-Amand has also represented Canada at four IPC World Championships, earning gold in 2008 and 2013.

In 1993, St-Amand was an avid hockey player when he was diagnosed with a malignant tumour on his right tibia. Two years later, at 17, doctors amputated his right leg above the knee. It was a tough decision for St-Amand, but he was anxious to get back to an active lifestyle. The experience taught him to think and act positively, living his life one day at a time.

St-Amand, who lives in St-Hurbert, Que., speaks regularly to businesses and schoolchildren in Canada as part of the RBC Olympians community ambassador program. His goal is to show children how potentially tragic experiences, such as having cancer and losing a limb, can be turned into positive outcomes.

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee