- Published: Tuesday, 27 March 2018 13:42
Eighteen-year-old Noah Grove, who had his left leg amputated below the knee when he was only 5 years old, has excelled as a sled hockey player, and his skills and dedication paid off in South Korea when he and other Team USA members captured the gold medal in the Winter Paralympic Games in March.
Grove, of Frederick, Md., is the son of Chris Grove, who won more than 680 races as a trainer based in Maryland. Team USA tied the sled hockey game with only 35 seconds in regulation and then scored a goal in sudden death to defeat the Canadian team.
Grove played in all five games with three goals and three assists.
“It’s definitely a top moment in my life so far,” Noah Grove said after the victory.
He was named to the Paralympic sled hockey team on Jan. 1, and previously played in the World Championship in 2017 in Gangneung, South Korea. Grove helped the U.S. win a silver medal while skating in all seven games of the series.
Grove also has skated in two World Sled Hockey Challenges and helped the U.S. team win two championships in 2016 and 2017, both times in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Earlier this year, the world traveler also skated in Italy in the Turin Para Ice Hockey International Tournament, which Team USA won.
Grove was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 4, and lost his left leg at the age of 5. The Maryland racing community at the time created the “Noah Fund” to provide assistance for the child’s needs, which included artificial limbs. More than $120,000 was raised.
The Grove family was able to witness the Winter Paralympic Games in person.
“It was a great experience,” said Chris Grove, who is assisting the MTHA in organizing the upcoming Groom Elite program for Maryland backstretch workers. “Our whole family went to South Korea. Most of my journey in my life has been my own, so to be able to follow Noah’s is a pretty great experience.
“Team USA were the definite favorites, but the game was exciting. Once we tied it and it went to overtime, I think Canada was exhausted. Noah is the youngest member of the team, so that probably will allow him to participate in the next three Olympics.”
Grove looks back fondly on the “Night for Noah” fundraiser and the impact it had on his son and the family. The project was organized by Fran Raffetto, wife of then-Maryland Jockey Club President Lou Raffetto Jr., with assistance from many others.
It was a very big help for Noah,” Grove said. “It was amazing.”