Ice Warriors: U.S. Sled Hockey

(Rochester, New York) – Over the course of ten days in March 2014 in Sochi, Russia, the Paralympics will bring together the world’s top athletes with physical disabilities to represent their countries and compete in the world’s toughest games. Second only to the Olympics themselves, the Paralympic Games are a major international multi-sport event that redefine what makes a champion. These extraordinary individuals battle in the same stadiums for the gold, silver, and bronze medals, and in the presence of the same flaming torch as the Olympic athletes. Ice Warriors, a new action-packed, one-hour primetime PBS documentary, goes behind the scenes to profile the accomplishments of one group of these elite competitors: the United States Paralympics Sled Hockey team. The film introduces viewers to these amazing athletes as they defend their 2010 gold medal, and chronicles the journey of the team and its players as they prepare for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. Ice Warriors premieres on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

This program is part of Dialogue on Disability, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies, which is supported by the Golisano Foundation and part of Al Sigl’s Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series, funded by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. To learn more visit: WXXI.org/dod.

Sled hockey is a riveting game of force, speed and strategy. Also known as “murderball on blades,” the sport is played as aggressively as “standup” hockey–but its players battle, at eye level, with their sticks, their sharp sled runners, and the serrated ice picks used to propel their sleds. Ice Warriors captures the dramatic moments and heated competition in the long-standing and intense rivalry between Team USA and Team Canada. Team USA took gold in Vancouver 2010, crushing Canada’s hopes of a home-country win. The Canadians retaliated, winning the World Championships in 2013. Both teams are hungry for gold this year, and Ice Warriors illustrates their competitiveness in the lead-up to Sochi.

For ICE WARRIORS, the filmmakers gained unparalleled access to the U.S. Paralympics Sled Hockey team. Beginning in September of 2013, the filmmakers accompanied the players at training camps and competitions, in the locker rooms and in the athletes’ homes, giving viewers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the arduous journey to Sochi.

Along this journey, viewers witness the camaraderie of the teammates on and off the rink, learn about the personal triumphs and trials of the athletes, and see them at home with their supportive families.“

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