The Para Ice Hockey portion of the Paralympic Winter Games will begin on March 9, 2018, in PyeongChang, South Korea, and former Tampa Bay Lightning sled player Declan Farmer will once again be representing his country -- this time with an "A" on his jersey. Four years ago, Farmer was part of a US Para Hockey team that made history, the only team that won back-to-back gold medals at the Paralympics. Will he be part of a three-peat?
Farmer, who makes his home in Clearwater, Florida, will join nine former teammates from the gold-medal winning 2014 team, and seven newcomers, in this year's bid for the gold. Due to their loss to #1 seed Canada in the 2017 World Para Ice Hockey Championships, Team USA is seeded second, and will head up the tournament's Group B.
Won gold in 2014:— Achariya (@tanyarezak) January 2, 2018
Josh Pauls (F/C)
Jen Lee (G)
Steve Cash (G)
Tyler Carron (D)
Declan Farmer (F)
Kevin McKee (F)
Adam Page (F)
Rico Roman (F)
Brody Roybal (F)
Travis Dodson (F)
Noah Grove (F)
Luke McDermott (F)
Josh Misiewicz (F)
Jack Wallace (F)
In Sochi, Farmer was Team USA's leading scorer, with 3G/2A for 5 points. His two goals against Canada in the elimination game leading to the gold medal match enabled Team USA to play against Russia for the gold. Due to his play, Farmer was awarded ESPN's ESPY for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
Para Ice Hockey tournament seeding for PyeongChang:— Achariya (@tanyarezak) January 2, 2018
At age 20, Farmer is no longer the rookie on Team USA. In his sophomore year at Princeton, he's been concentrating on strength training between tournaments to bring up his size, telling Team USA press, “In Sochi I was one of the younger guys and one of the smaller guys on the team, and that’s not a huge deal, but it definitely helps to be bigger and stronger out there, because you’re faster, you can hit the puck harder and you can body people off."
Farmer was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning Sled Hockey Team from 2007 to 2013, and has been part of the US national team since 2012. He got his start in sled at a hockey clinic near his home in Clearwater. His list of accomplishments for Team USA is mighty, and he currently is tied for the record for most points scored by a Team USA member at the Paralympics.
How mighty? Here is President Barak Obama lauding Farmer’s achievements in 2014:
And here are some of his highlights: