One of the few Paralympic athletes to win a Paralympic gold medal in both the summer and winter Games, Brad Bowden has been a constant force up front for Team Canada in para ice hockey since 1999. With 287 points in 188 games entering the 2016-17 season, he’s the team’s No. 2 all-time scorer.
A three-time Paralympian in para ice hockey (gold in Torino 2006, fourth in Vancouver 2010 and bronze in Sochi 2014), Bowden also competed in wheelchair basketball at the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, where Canada won the gold.
At the Torino 2006 Paralympic Games, Bowden scored the game-winning goal in the gold medal game. Four years later at the Paralympic Games in Vancouver 2010, he was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Bowden was once again front and centre at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi. He scored the winning goal and had two assists in the bronze medal game to lead Canada to a 3-0 victory over Norway. Bowden was among Canada’s top scorers in Sochi, with five points in five games.
For the 2016-17 season, Bowden made headlines early on as he decided to move from forward to the defence position. It is hoped that Bowden with his speed and great passing skills can lead to more breakouts by playing defence.
Bowden has represented Canada at three Paralympic Winter Games, one Paralympic Summer Games (in wheelchair basketball) and seven IPC World Championships. He missed the 2002 Paralympics due to a thumb injury.
His grandmother Colleen Nelson, whom he calls the most influential person in his career, passed away soon after Bowden won Paralympic gold in 2006. Says Bowden, “I never wanted to get out of the house to try sledge hockey but she forced me to go. She knew me better than anybody.”