Today’s Healthy Hollywood feature: In the lead up to the 2014 Paralympic Games, Access Hollywood Live featured the moving story of Rico Roman, who lost his leg as a result of a war injury while serving in Iraq. He went on to have an inspiring comeback as a Paralympic athlete, eventually making the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team and struck gold in Sochi when the team beat Russia in the finals.
Healthy Hollywood recently caught up with Roman to get his thoughts on being an Olympic champ.
“It was a great feeling,” said Roman. “You know especially being part of this team - all the hard work we put in in the off season.”
Winning was made so much sweeter with his wife and kids watching from the stands.
“My son, he stayed up all the way to the end, he was so tired. He just wanted to see me play – it was just great,” adds Rico.
The reality of winning gold still hasn’t set in, Roman adds, “There’s still a lot of stuff going on. Earlier today I got on the ice with my club team and it just felt good skating and having fun.”
Plus, his medal is a must-see for friends and family. “I keep it at home but a lot of people want to see it and ask me to go and get it so I bring it with me everywhere. I got to show it off to my wheelchair basketball team. I think that was the best part – was sharing it with all of the people that have helped me get it.”
Roman, who was part of Liberty Mutual’s “Rise” campaign, reveals the insurance giant insured his medal. .
As a veteran and now Olympic champ, Rico has served his country in two very significant ways – and he’ll never forget either honor.
“We were all going high fiving at the end of the game wishing each other good game and he said to me ‘Good Game Soldier’ and that really meant something to me,” he said. “That was a moment I’ll never forget in my life.”
And, Roman relies on his teammates’ words for his winning attitude – both on and off the ice.
“Sometimes you don’t do everything perfect – you make mistakes – you know just have a short memory about it. Like in hockey if you make a mistake on the ice you don’t want to constantly dwell on it because the next pass you get you might still be thinking about that last pass,” Roman concluded.
-- Courtney Cox, for Terri MacLeod
Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.