Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

Winter Olympics Sochi 2014

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Dallas Athlete Goes for Gold Again in Sochi

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    Dallas native and SMU graduate Taylor Lipsett is hoping to come home from Sochi with gold in the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. (Published Friday, Mar 7, 2014)

    For the past 12 years, Paralympian athlete Taylor Lipsett has been making a name for himself on the ice, earning a gold and bronze medal for Team USA.

    The Dallas native and Southern Methodist University graduate plays sled hockey, where athletes sit in an adaptive sled outfitted with blades to slide across the ice.

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    To get around and shoot the puck, the players use two shortened hockey sticks.  Beyond that, the rules are similar to the game’s "stand-up," traditional version.

    "Other than we get around and how we shoot, it’s just hockey," said Lipsett, who maintains the game is equally physical.  "When some of those guys hit you, it’s kind of like a small car collision."

    The 27-year-old was introduced to the sport at age 15 and, though he admits sports have "always been part of his life," sled hockey was the first activity in which he could truly participate.

    "I was bat boy for my brother’s baseball team and water boy for the basketball team," he said. "I was always just on the outside. I was never part of the team."

    At age 5, Lipsett said doctors told his family it was "just too dangerous" for him to play sports.

    Lipsett was diagnosed with a genetic bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta or "brittle bone disease."

    In his 27 years, he said he’s suffered 110 broken bones.

    It’s not enough, however, to keep him from his third games and an attempt at back-to-back gold medals for Team USA.

    "It’s never been done before in the sport of sled hockey," he said. "Hopefully we can write the ending of the story with the gold medal."

    Lipsett and his team are also featured in an upcoming documentary called "Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey." The documentary premieres on Feb. 25 at 10 p.m. on PBS stations.

    The 2014 Paralympic Games will also be featured on NBC and the NBC Sports Network beginning on March 7.