US Women's Sled Hockey Team

Brooklynn Crist

Born: 2003
Number: 9
Position: Forward
Hometown: Lodi, OH

“I’m not meant to fit in.”

For Brooklynn Crist, the Women’s USA Sled Hockey Team is more of a support network than anything else. From different corners of the country, her team members motivate and enable her to improve each day. On her low points when the world seems against her and she wants to stay together her team will push her to do her daily workouts, on the days when she’s angry and wants to scream her team will be there in to hear her out, and on the days when she’s on the ice, her team will physically have her back. It was different when she didn’t have a support network to fall back on- when she started her life with a life-transformative surprise.

When Crist was born, her left leg was two inches shorter than her right leg and she had an underdeveloped hip bone and femur. Nothing had appeared until birth, as only her right side appeared in the ultrasound. Her parents were extremely shocked; they had no idea what had happened to their daughter. After three referrals, they traveled to a specialist in Baltimore, Maryland, where they were given two options: a rotationplasty–which consisted of rotating her leg 180 degrees and replacing her ankle joint with her knee joint to compensate for the difference in height with a prosthetic–or several different surgeries to lengthen her leg in result making her leg bone as thin as a pencil.

Her mom prayed and her dad closed off. They hoped that God would close the wrong doors and open the ones they should take. In the meantime, her parents explored the option results only to come up dry for any examples. In the end, they asked, “What would Brooklyn want?” Would she want one surgery where she could possibly play sports and be athletic, or several surgeries which would result in her leg constantly breaking? They finally chose the latter. They chose a future in which Brooklynn could play sled hockey.  

          While laying in the hospital, the Adaptive Sport Programs of Ohio (ASPO) began to expose her to the opportunities still available. There was cycling, track, baseball, and rugby all made adaptive to her new build. However, one sport stuck out. Women’s sled hockey drew her and her aunt’s eye. It was a sport in which she could have a outlet for her aggression, which would be a relief.  “I like being aggressive, and hockey is as aggressive as you can get,” said Crist. “I just leave it out on the ice.”

News Links:

Brooklynn Crist named to U.S. Sled Hockey Team

She’s Got What it Takes to be a Winner

D&J Medical

Brooklynn Crist