Legendary college coach Jeff Sauer considered it a privilege to be given the opportunity to coach the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team to an unprecedented second straight gold medal last March in Sochi, Russia.
The incredible scene after the Americans had defeated Russia, 1-0, in the gold medal game at Shayba Arena was a moment for the ages when the 17-member team celebrated in their end of the ice once the final horn sounded while fans of both countries commended the effort with a standing ovation.
"I've never been involved with a group of athletes like I was the last three-and-a-half years with the sled hockey people," Sauer said. "It was a tremendous honor. The interesting thing about it was where it all happened; in Russia. In the old Soviet Union, handicapped individuals were kind of shunned and put to the side. This was a showcase not just for sled hockey, but handicapped folks all across the world. The crowds were unbelievable and the fact we won in front of a Russian crowd that had never seen handicapped individuals operate the way we did, was just fantastic."
Fans across the globe can witness the determination and courage of the U.S. sled hockey team members in a new 90-minute documentary entitled "Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey" that premiers Monday on PBS at 10 p.m. ET.