Canada’s official winter sport shouldn’t be and isn’t exclusive to sighted players.
Since the 1970s blind hockey has been played in this country.
This week Team Canada’s blind hockey team has been practising in Burnaby in preparation to take on Team USA’s blind hockey team in Pittsburgh in October.
“We’ve lived together, we’ve eaten together… we’ve played hockey together for a week,” team captain Luca DeMontis said. “Not only has this team become a group but they’ve kind of become a family.”
Blind Hockey is played all across Canada by athletes who are blind or who have approximately 10 per cent vision or less.
The United States is the only other country with a national blind hockey team. The tournament in Pittsburgh will be the first time the teams will have played against each other.
Team Canada’s immediate goal is to win but their future goal is to grow the sport around the world and have it become an official event at the 2026 Winter Paralympic Games.