US Paralympians work with local athletes

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BISMARCK, N.D. - US Paralympians were in Bismarck working with dozens of aspiring athletes in a hockey clinic. The event will improve the skills of sled hockey players from across the state.

The Paralympics is an international competition for athletes with disabilities held in the same place as the Olympics after those games are done.

Rico Roman is an army veteran, purple heart recipient, and won a gold medal in Sled Hockey for Team USA. He is just one of the two paralympians in Bismarck working with kids from across the state.

"Hopefully to inspire the next Paralympians, you know? Seeing the smiles on the kids faces, and the adults faces is something special to me, and to be able to give back is truly an honor," said Rico Roman, U.S. Paralympian.

Players of all ages hit the ice to work with these athletes.

"This is amazing. How often does anybody, any athlete, get to play with a Paralympian or Olympian level athlete? These are world class athletes that you get to hang with, learn from and just enjoy being around," said Annette Kaip, Dreams in Motion president.

Dreams in Motion hopes soon to start a competitive team in Bismarck.

"Sports are important for our adults and our youth community just to grow in life skills, and I hope that people will see that it's just as important for people with disabilities to have that same opportunity," said Kaip.

They say their biggest obstacle is getting enough ice time in season.

A community day will follow where anyone can try sled hockey and adaptive tennis at the VFW Arena in Bismarck. The Paralympians will be there to help cheer the public on and, of course, provide a few tips.