Summerside native Billy Bridges is going to Sochi, Russia.
The five-foot-eight, 190-pound forward was one of the 17 players announced Saturday to be part of Canada’s national sledge hockey team for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, which will take place March 7 to 16.
This will be the 29-year-old Bridges' fourth Games. He won on the gold medal winning team in 2006 in Torino and on the teams that finished fourth in Vancouver in 2010 and 2002 in Salt Lake City.
The team was assembled after competing in several camps and events during the 2013-14 season, including winning the gold medal at the Four Nations Tournament in Sochi in August, and 2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Toronto in December.
“Getting down to 17 players was by no means an easy decision, which is a testament to the sledge hockey talent this country is producing,” head coach Mike Mondin said. “We feel we’ve assembled the best roster possible, and we’re excited to compete for Canada at the Paralympics in Sochi.”
Sixteen of the 17 players helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2013 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Goyang, South Korea, and eight represented Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C.
With a goal of placing in the top three nations in the gold medal count, Canada will send about 50 athletes to compete in sledge hockey, wheelchair curling, para-Nordic skiing, biathlon, para-alpine skiing and para-snowboard.
Canada vs. Sweden, 5 p.m. Atlantic
Canada vs. Norway. 5 p.m. Atlantic
Canada vs. Czech Republic, noon Atlantic