Patrick Byrne to be inducted into Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame

Dec. 15, 2009, 12:59 p.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  - U.S. Paralympian Patrick Byrne (Chicago, Ill.) will be inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame on January 31, 2010.

Byrne has been an ambassador for the sport of sled hockey and has an impressive athletic career. As a gifted athlete, he was selected to Team USA and was part of the gold medal winning sled hockey team at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, only two years after he picked up the sport.

In November 1992, Byrne lost his leg in a construction accident and was referred to Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) where he began golfing, swimming, and skiing.

His father encouraged him to pursue golf to help improve his balance and in 1993 he joined the National Adaptive Golf Association. Coincidently, Byrne now runs the adapted golf program at RIC.

Byrne also spends his time coaching and teaching youth including a youth sled hockey team he organized, the Blizzards, which meets once a week at McFetridge Ice Rink in Chicago.

"I now devote my sled hockey experience to help disabled kids and in 2005 I became a certified hockey coach."

Byrne will be a part of the fifth class and the first sled hockey player to be inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.