SOCHI, Russia – The United States Olympic Committee announced today that three-time Paralympian and sled hockey goalie Steve Cash (Overland, Mo.) has been selected as the flag bearer for the U.S. Paralympic Team at the Closing Ceremony for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games on March 16. Cash was chosen by a vote of fellow Team USA athletes.
“Obviously first and foremost, it is a tremendous honor, but at the same time it’s not as much about having an individual opportunity to bear the flag, but also being able to represent my country and all of the athletes who came out and are here representing their country as well,” said Cash. “I am able to represent 80 athletes, especially my teammates who have been there for me through thick and thin ever since I started in the sport. It’s really more about a collective group than just representing myself.”
Cash, whose right leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at age 3, started his sled hockey career with the Disabled Athlete Sports Association St. Louis Blues in 2004 and made his first U.S. Sled Hockey National Team in 2005.
So far at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, Cash has backstopped the U.S. to preliminary round wins over Italy (5-1) and South Korea (3-0), plus a semifinal victory against Canada (3-0). The only two goals he permitted came in a 2-1 loss to Russia in the preliminary round. Overall, Cash has stopped 37-of-39 shots for a .949 save percentage and a 0.51 goals against average.
Cash also starred at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, where he did not allow a single goal in five games as Team USA won the gold medal. He was named Best Goaltender of the tournament. Cash owns a Paralympic record shutout streak that spanned 313 minutes and 17 seconds. It spanned seven-plus games, beginning in 2006, lasting the entire 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and ending three-games into the 2014 Games.
“Steve Cash has become an icon for the Paralympic Movement in the U.S.,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “He was the team MVP in Vancouver and is a trusted leader and friend to not only his teammates, but all U.S. Paralympic athletes. Congratulations to Steve for this tremendous honor, and we certainly wish him and the rest of the team the best of luck as they take on Russia for the gold medal tomorrow night – go Team USA.”
The 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team will face off against Russia a second time to compete for the gold medal on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on NBC at 1 p.m. E.T.
Cash will lead the 80-member U.S. team into the Closing Ceremony on March 16 at Fisht Olympic Stadium. The ceremony will be broadcast on NBCSN from 3:30-5:30 p.m. E.T.