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Team USA sled hockey player and two-time Paralympic gold medalist Brody Roybal discusses the growth of the sport both domestically and internationally, and says the lack of fans in attendance won't affect his quest for a third straight gold medal.
BRODY ROYBAL: I've been playing sled hockey now for like 17 years, and the game has grown so much. USA Hockey, being a huge part of the growth of the sled hockey team here in the US with the developmental program and the national team. And then on the world stage, I mean, different countries are being built up all over the world and producing amazing players. And countries are putting tons of money into developmental teams like ours and Canada's.
So since I've been on the team, it has grown so much. We really didn't have very many fans when I first started on the team. And now, even games that we just play in random little cities around the countries, we have people coming out and watching and people coming up to me now and saying, oh, do you play on the sled hockey team? And getting recognized and stuff like that is just absolutely crazy. And we've come so far.
I don't think fans not being there is really going to affect how we play our game at all. We're going to prepare as if it was any other game. But my expectations are extremely high for Beijing. I think every games that I've been to, they've done a great job with all the venues and all that stuff. So my expectations are high and I'm excited if I'm able to get out there.