With a Paralympic gold medal and a bronze already to his name, Taylor Chace '11 could have been forgiven for being a little blase about winning gold as a member of the U.S. Paralympic sled hockey team in Sochi, Russia, in March. But the Hampton Falls, N.H., native and veteran defenseman is anything but. "Russia is probably my favorite," he says of the medal, which came in a 1-0 victory over the Russian team on March 15. Joining his 2006 bronze from Turin, Italy, and his 2010 gold from Vancouver, the Sochi medal marks the first time a team has earned back-to-back gold medals in Paralympic sled hockey. "This one is really special," he says. Chace, who was partially paralyzed by a hockey injury in 2002, credits the UNH-based adaptive sports program Northeast Passage with helping him to recover and eventually find his new passion in sled hockey. A former Northeast Passage staffer, he's not ruling out taking a shot at the 2016 sled hockey squad and a potential three-peat. (See Winter 2010 issue for a feature story on Chace and Northeast Passage.)
Chace wasn't the only UNH alum to leave Sochi's Bolshoy Ice Dome with new hardware. Women's ice hockey player Kacey Bellamy '08 and women's ice hockey head coach Katey Stone '89 took the podium February 20 as members of the U.S. Olympic team, which earned silver against Canada. And Alpine skier Laurie Stephens '07 earned three Paralympic bronzes at Sochi for her performances in the slalom, downhill, and Super-G races in March.
Photography by Cheryl Senter