Lena Schroeder Is The Only Woman Who Plays & Slays The Winter Paralympics Sledge Hockey
- IWB Post
- March 12, 2018
Former Canadian professional ice hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, once said, “Ninety percent of hockey is mental, and the other half is physical.” Proving him wrong is 24-year-old Lena Schroeder who has been the only woman playing the Winter Paralympics sledge hockey and slaying the game with her mental strength.
Lena is the first woman to compete in the discipline at the Games since 1994, and the only female player out of 135 at the Pyeongchang Paralympics in South Korea.
Sledge hockey is considered one of the toughest and most violent sports. Unlike Olympic ice hockey, which has separate men’s and women’s teams, sledge ice hockey played at the Paralympics has everyone play together. Imagine specially-abled players having their full or partial legs fixed into small sledges with two blades on the bottom, and using sticks to push themselves across the ice to play.
When asked about the game, Lena said, “I’m so used to being the only female player. I think everyone is so used to it – I’ve been part of the team for so many years. Boy or girl, it’s the same.” Her team-member Magnus Bogle told AFP, “If she’s a boy or girl, it’s the same. There is no difference – if you are in the locker room, you are in the locker room.”
Lena was born with spina bifida – a birth defect that majorly affects the spinal cord growth – due to which she lost most of her legs. Today, a determined Lena trains five times a week for both nationals and local games. Such an inspiration!