Noah Grove, 18, of Frederick, who had his left leg amputated below the knee when he was 5 years old, won a gold medal this month as part of the U.S. men’s sled hockey team at the Winter Paralympic Games in Gangneung, South Korea.
Grove is the son of Chris Grove, who won more than 680 races as a horse trainer based in Maryland.
Team USA tied the championship game against Canada with 35 seconds remaining in regulation, then scored in sudden death, for its unprecedented third consecutive gold and fourth overall.
Grove, a forward, played in all five games, totaling three goals and three assists.
“It’s definitely a top moment in my life so far,” Noah Grove said after the victory, according to a Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association news release.
Grove played in the 2017 world championship in Gangneung, South Korea, helping the Americans win a silver medal while skating in all seven games.
He also helped the United States win championships in the 2016 and 2017 World Sled Hockey Challenges in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
Earlier this year, he participated in the Turin (Italy) Para Ice Hockey International Tournament, which Team USA won.
Grove was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 4 and lost his left leg at the age of 5. The Maryland racing community at the time created the Noah Fund to assist in the child’s needs, which included artificial limbs. More than $120,000 was raised.
Eight years later Grove was playing at the adaptive sports program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, a chapter of Disabled Sports USA, and he soon found himself playing sled hockey on the Bennett Blazers junior team.
Once a week, he would go to Baltimore for practice and would play games through the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Grove eventually joined the USA Warriors, a team made up mostly of wounded military members that is based out of the Rockville Ice Arena.
He also skated for two seasons with the U.S. development team and made the national team in 2016.
The Grove family was able to witness the Winter Paralympic Games in person.
“It was a great experience,” said Chris Grove, who is assisting the MTHA in organizing the Groom Elite program for Maryland backstretch workers. “Our whole family went to South Korea. Most of my journey in my life has been my own, so to be able to follow Noah’s is a pretty great experience.
“Team USA were the definite favorites, but the game was exciting. Once we tied it and it went to overtime, I think Canada was exhausted. Noah is the youngest member of the team, so that probably will allow him to participate in the next three Olympics.”
Grove looks back fondly on the “Night for Noah” fundraiser and the impact it had on his son and the family. The project was organized by Fran Raffetto, wife of then-Maryland Jockey Club president Lou Raffetto Jr., with assistance from many others.
It was a very big help for Noah,” Grove said. “It was amazing.”