Greg Westlake celebrates after scoring on Norway

Greg Westlake celebrates after scoring against Norway during preliminary sledge hockey action at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Paralympic Games. (Richard Lam/Reuters)

Greg Westlake joined the national team in 2003 and has been a major force on the squad ever since.

He’s played in five IPC World Championships and two Paralympic Games. At the 2013 IPC World Championships, he was named the Best Forward in the A Pool. He earned five goals and three assists at the tournament as Canada won its first world crown since 2008. At the 2008 worlds, he collected six goals and nine assists for 15 points in six games. Westlake, 27, scored the game-winning goal with just eight seconds to go to defeat Norway in the gold medal showdown.

Westlake’s Paralympic Games appearances in 2006 and 2010 are the highlights of his career so far. Canada took gold at the 2006 Games in Turin and while the fourth place at Vancouver 2010 was disappointing, Westlake, like the rest of his teammates, was thrilled to play on the sport’s biggest stage at home. He was named captain of the Canadian ice sledge hockey team in October 2010.

In addition to sledge hockey he is an excellent hand cyclist and practices the sport in the off-season to build upper body strength. In 2011 he set an arm-powered world speed record in hand cycling and holds two land records.

Westlake, who was born in North Vancouver but now lives in Toronto, had both legs amputated below the knee at age 18 months. When he was born his feet were malformed and were never going to be fully functional. (The technical term is congenital bilateral below knee amputee.) Westlake began playing sledge hockey with the Mississauga Cruisers in 2001 and made his debut in 2003 with Team Canada at the age of 17. 

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee