US Women's Sled Hockey Team

Katie Ladlie

Born: 1998
Number: 2
Position: Forward
Hometown: Troy, MO

“Not only are we athletes, but we can do anything we set our minds to.”

Katie Ladlie was born with a vascular condition called genuine diffuse phlebectasia, otherwise known as Bockenheimer syndrome, that ultimately destroyed her left knee. The doctors gave her two options: an amputation above the knee or a knee fusion. On Jun. 17, 2011 Ladlie had her leg amputated.

Ladlie had to triumph over many hardships after her amputation, one of which being phantom pains: a sensation where the mind thinks that a part of the body that is either paralyzed or amputated is in pain. For Ladlie, her phantom pains felt like someone was taking pliers to her toenails or taking a hammer and smashing her toes.

After the amputation, Ladlie joined a group called Disabled Athletes Sports Association (DASA.) She had seen sled hockey but thought, “There’s no way I’m going to be doing this sport.” However, shortly after trying it, she fell in love with sled hockey. Ladlie began playing sled hockey when she was 14 years old.

When Ladlie is not playing for the USA Women’s team, she is playing for the DASA Blues, a predominantly male team which has made her used to playing against men. With sled hockey being an upcoming sport for women, sometimes the USA Women’s team often has to play against men’s teams.  

“I like the fact that the men don’t hold back against us, and it’s very rewarding for me to know that I can keep up with them,” Ladlie said.

Sled hockey has impacted Ladlie’s life by allowing her to meet different people and travel around the world playing the sport she loves. She said that the girls on the team are like another family to her.

“It’s really cool having that sister aspect on the ice,” Ladlie said.

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Katie Ladlie