MRU Student In Paralympics
By Emma Duke, Contributor
Mount Royal University (MRU) students might see a familiar face if they tune into the 2022 Beijing Paralympics. MRU athletic therapy student Adam Kingsmill is currently competing in the 2022 Beijing Paralympics with Canada’s Para Ice Hockey Team.
Kingsmill is competing with Canada’s paralympic hockey team as a goaltender. Kingsmill and his team will play against the United States for the gold medal after the Canadian team won 11-0 in the semifinal against South Korea on March 11. The gold medal game takes place on March 13.
Even though Canada lost to the United States in the 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championships, Kingsmill says the loss inspired the team to train even harder for the 2022 Paralympic Games. The Canadian team also lost to the U.S. in the 2018 Paralympics.
“It definitely left a sour taste in our mouths,” Kingsmill says. “We’re the underdogs, so we’re excited and motivated.”
Kingsmill started playing with Hockey Canada in 2016 and made his debut with Canada’s National team last year as a goaltender. Kingsmill says both his dad and his brother played as goaltenders, inspiring him to follow in his family’s footsteps.
“My brother, my dad and my mom all played hockey, so it was kind of a rite of passage like every small-town Canadian kid. Hockey is just something I’ve always wanted to do,” Kingsmill told MRU.
The Boston Pizza in Kingsmill’s hometown of Smithers, British Columbia will be holding a watch party on March 12. His parents and family will be in attendance.
Kingsmill lost his right leg at two years old after slipping under a lawn tractor. His parents put him on skates just six months after his amputation.
Kingsmill was raised in Smithers, a town with a population of approximately 5000. Kingsmill says people in the town did not treat him differently because of his disability. He says this worked in his favor because it allowed him to embrace the outdoors and hockey. He learned to skate shortly after his accident on his family’s backyard pond.
Kingsmill proceeded to play able-bodied hockey in his hometown after his amputation. He tried out for the Carman Cougars minor hockey team and was then approached by Hockey Canada.
He says that Hockey Canada encouraged him to move to Calgary so he could be close to the headquarters and spend time with their coach. Kingsmill made the move and began training in para hockey in Calgary.
Currently, he is working towards a Bachelor of Health & Physical Education, majoring in athletic therapy. He says his program has helped him both in his own recovery and his relationship with training staff.
The athletic therapy program at Mount Royal requires work experience. Kingsmill interned with the Calgary Flames NHL team for his practicum. Kingsmill says this internship opened doors and offered him opportunities. He says he is planning on finishing his degree at the university while continuing to play hockey, hoping to compete again in the 2026 Paralympics.