WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – One of the most entertaining events of the upcoming Paralympics is sled hockey.
And the Triad got a glimpse of what that sport is all about when a team based out of the Raleigh area came to Winston-Salem and not only battled the Thunderbirds but whupped them pretty good.
Thunderbirds player Michael Bunn was impressed.
"They didn't go lightly on us, they laid the body on us, they played hard,” he said. “We get used to skating, we have strong legs, this is completely different, you have to use all upper body strength."
Rob Pickel spent 20 years in the army and most of his time was stationed at Fort Bragg. In 2010, while in Pakistan, he lost both legs in an explosion.
Much of his life now revolves around sled hockey. "Now that I've found sled hockey it's all worth it, if I hadn't lost my legs I never would've been introduced to the sport,” he said.
"It feels like flying,” said Jereme Gilbert. “It really does, feels like flying, if you're stuck in the chair on a regular basis come out of the chair and fly.”
This sport began in Sweden over 50 years ago and is starting to take off here in North Carolina.
The Raleigh team is the only organized team right now in this state, but they're looking to expand to different cities.