Canadian Paralympic Committee congratulates Sochi 2014 medallist Benoit St-Amand on sledge hockey career
(ISN) – OTTAWA, – The Canadian Paralympic Committee is honored to congratulate goaltender Benoit St-Amand (Longueil, Que.), a three-time Paralympian in sledge hockey who has retired after a successful career that saw him win Paralympic gold and bronze medals.
St-Amand, 36, won bronze with Canada’s National Sledge Team at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games and gold at the 2006 Turin Paralympic Winter Games. He was also on the team that placed fourth at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.”Benoit played for an impressive 10 years on the national team after starting the sport fairly late in life at age 24,” noted Karen O’Neill, CEO of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. “His determination to think an act positively always set a great example for all members of the Canadian Paralympic Team. I know Benoit will continue to be a tremendous ambassador for the Paralympic movement and we wish him all the best for the next phase of his life.”
St-Amand first made the Canadian national sledge hockey team in 2004, initially as a forward. A leg amputee since 1995, he was inspired to try the sport after watching Canada compete at the 2002 Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City. During his second season, the team was looking for a back-up goaltender, so he volunteered and served as a replacement at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games in Turin, launching his goaltending career.
“My gold medal from Turin is my best memory,” St-Amand told Sportcom. “It’s the dream of every sledge hockey player to have a gold medal around their next at their first Games. That’s really something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”
St-Amand also represented Canada at four International Paralympic Committee World Championships, winning gold in 2008 and 2013. He speaks regularly to businesses and schoolchildren in Canada. His goal is to show children how potentially tragic experiences, such as having cancer and losing a limb, can be turned into positive outcomes.
“Benny’s dedication to making his teammates better was fantastic,” said teammate and team captain Greg Westlake. “He was one of the older guys and he showed his maturity and it was a real calming presence around the younger guys. He was really dedicated to making sure everyone reached their potential.”