Taylor Chace is going back to the Paralympic Winter Games.
A member of the U.S. Sled Hockey Team since 2005, the 27-year-old Hampton Falls resident on Wednesday officially was named a member of the team that will represent the U.S. at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, March 7-14. The announcement came after the conclusion of tryouts conducted by USA Hockey in suburban Buffalo, N.Y.
Chace, who experienced an incomplete spinal cord injury while playing ice hockey with the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in 2002, competed in the past two Paralympic games, in Torino, Italy, in 2006 and Vancouver, B.C., Canada, in 2010. He was named Paralympic Athlete of the Year in 2010 after leading the U.S. to a gold medal.
Chace also has competed in four world championships. In April 2013, he traveled to Goyang, South Korea, where he won a silver medal in the International Paralympic World Championships and was named the tournament’s outstanding defenseman.
In a press release, Chace said of his most recent selection, “This was the most competitive tryout we’ve had in the history of our sport due to the increasing number of military veterans entering the sport, as well as the growth in our youth and adult development programs. Over 60 athletes competed for 17 spots. The coaches had some difficult decisions to make.
“It’s always an honor to represent the United States. My teammates and I look forward to defending our Vancouver gold medal.”
A University of New Hampshire graduate, Chace is a program specialist for UNH’s Northeast Passage, an organization that promotes active, independent living for people with disabilities. Among his duties are coaching sled hockey and serving as a strength-and-conditioning specialist.