‘Ice Warriors’ follows Paralympic athletes with mettle

SHARE ‘Ice Warriors’ follows Paralympic athletes with mettle
SHARE ‘Ice Warriors’ follows Paralympic athletes with mettle

You don’t have to be a sled hockey fan —or even a regular hockey fan — to get swept up in “Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey,” a PBS documentary that follows the country’s Paralympic athletes on their quest to win gold in Sochi. (10 p.m. Monday, WTTW-Channel 11)

The fast-paced game, sometimes called murderball on blades, has players powering their narrow sleds with ice picks at speeds up to 30 mph while trying to shoot the puck into the net.

The 90-minute film takes viewers behind the scenes and into the locker rooms and homes of this diverse group of team members, including the youngest, 16-year-old Brody Roybal of Northlake.

The West Leyden High School junior was born without legs. His fellow team members lost limbs while serving in the military, or they were born with spina bifida or brittle bone disease, a diagnosis that once led doctors to tell a future Paralympic champion that he could forget about playing sports.

The stories are inspirational and emotional —and made all the more so thanks to the inherently high-stakes world of competitive sports acted out on an international stage.

Rating: [s3r star=3/4]

Follow @lorirackl

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