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Sled hockey champ

Liam Cunningham, a fourth grade student at Westside Elementary School in River Falls, holds his gold medal in his mouth after winning the Upper Youth Division Sled Hockey National Championship as a member of the Minnesota Wild Sled Hockey Association team at the USA Hockey National Disability Festival April 12-15 in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Becky Cunningham

Westside Elementary School fourth-grader Liam Cunningham helped the Minnesota Wild Sled Hockey Association's Upper Youth team win the national championship at the USA Hockey National Disability Festival March in Chicago April 12-15.

Cunningham was born with a bone disorder, polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, that limits his activities and just completed his fourth season as a member of the Minnesota Wild sponsored sled hockey team. The team consists of players with different physical disabilities ranging from amputees, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, brain cancer survivors and more.

In sled hockey, players who have physical disabilities sit in sleds with two blades on the bottom and propel themselves across the ice with two short hockey sticks with ice picks on the bottom.

The 14th annual USA Hockey National Disability Festival was the largest disabled hockey event of its kind and featured over 100 teams from the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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