US Women's Sled Hockey Team

Gabariel (Gabby) Graves-Wake

Born: 1993
Number: 14
Position: Goalie
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

“Everyone has a journey, whether they know where that journey is going to take them or not.”

Gabby Grave-Wake was a cocky 17-year-old living in Phoenix, Arizona when she walked into a Marine Corps recruiters office. Trained as a competitive sport martial artist in the American Taekwondo Association, she was a fourth degree black belt. At 17, martial arts was her life and career, but when she realized that she needed to find herself and take a hiatus from the environment, she was in she enlisted with the marines.

Grave-Wake saw a future in the marines. There was a path laid out for her. She was going to go through the ranks: from private to corporal to sergeant and beyond, but life had other plans. During the five years she was enlisted, she was rear-ended by a minivan while riding her motorcycle. In the resulting surgeries her leg was lost, and along with it her military career.

Again her life was put into perspective. She was now legally disabled, she saw the flaws in her worldview prior to the accident. Laying in a military bed she was at a low, but the Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR) and the military hospital would not let her stay there. They began introducing her to sports recovery: sitting volleyball, adaptive track and sled hockey.   

   She began playing sled hockey for the San Diego Ducks during her time in WWR East. There she was picked up by USA Women’s Sled Hockey Team. She was competitive in nature on an individual level, seen during her time as a martial artist, but she also missed the comradery of the time she spent in the Marines Corps; therefore, she decided that Goalie was her niche as a sled hockey player. There she could continue to take a certain level of individual responsibility, but also be part of a team.

Grave-Wake instantly fit in with all the players on the USA Women’s Sled Hockey team. Everyone has a very good relationship, and there no cliques could be found between groups of players. Everyone motivates each other to continue to improve on and off the ice. Although there isn’t anything she would want to change with the relationship between the team members and her, she admits there’s always room for improvement on how the team is performing. Personally she is very critical of her own performance noting the need to also break bad habits and consistency from one performance to the next. For now, her goal is to see where the team will take her and to continue improving on her performance as a player.

News Links:

Gabby Graves-Wakes at the Invictus Games

Gabby Graves-Wake’s New Mission

Paralympic Profile

Invictus Games Day Two

Gabariel (Gabby) Graves-Wake