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The first time Dan McCoy got on the ice to play sled hockey, he cried.

“I was 4 years old the first time I got on a sled, and I hated it,” McCoy recalls. “My pusher had bent down
to tie her skates or left to help someone else, and I just started crying because I wasn’t moving.”

McCoy, who has spina bifida, soon learned to love the sport. He and his family first learned about sled hockey from a family friend who was involved with the sport. To support their son, McCoy’s parents played an instrumental role in starting Pittsburgh’s Mighty Penguins sled hockey program.

“When I was 8 years old, I told my parents I wanted
to win an Olympic gold medal,” he says. “All credit
to my parents, they were fully supportive. My mom
was the first executive director, and my dad was
the first assistant coach of the organization that
is now the Mighty Penguins.”

“People really relate to someone
in their own situation,” McCoy
says. “As soon as I tell them
I have spina bifida, the barrier
goes down. They feel more
respected and like they’re talking
to someone who really understands
what they’re going through.”

I became a personal trainer so I could help people with disabilities see what they can do and not worry about what they can’t do.

McCoy is still active as a member of the Mighty Pens senior team, also serving as an assistant coach, captain and director of player development. He’s also building a business as a personal trainer, training people who have disabilities as well as those who don’t. He currently offers training in-person and online.


“I became a personal trainer so I could help people with disabilities see what they can do and, as best they can, not worry about what they can’t do,” he says. “People with disabilities have so much resolve to achieve what they want to achieve.”

Learn more about Dan McCoy’s personal training business with the button above.

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