Hitting the ice against the United States at the 2022 Paralympics was the culmination of a six-year goal for Team Canada’s Rod Crane.
A first-time Paralympian in Beijing, he featured in the opening preliminary round game against Team Canada’s biggest rival.
Leading up to puck drop, there was a lot going through the defenceman’s head.
“Before going on the ice, I was mostly just thinking about everything I’ve been through up until this moment,” said the Heathcote, Ontario native. “Everything my family’s been through, everything my friends have been through.”
Crane set his eyes on the goal of competing at the Paralympics in 2016.
After playing for Sledge Team Ontario and getting an invite to the national development team, the goal became more than just a hope, and that meant a new mind set.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but it’s something attainable and something that I really want to do,” he said.
Representing Team Canada, Crane was able to take part in the World Para Ice Hockey Championships in both 2019 and 2021.
But even though he had played in big games before, he was excited to compete at the Paralympics which he considers a whole other level.
Crane viewed the opportunity to play in such a game as a sort of reward to both himself, and those close to him.
“I think it was a good gift to myself but I think it was an even better gift to my friends, family, and supporters,” he said. “They know what I’ve been through and what I’ve sacrificed to get to that moment.”
Crane has enjoyed being home again after coming back from Beijing and is taking his time to decide what comes next.