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Legally Blind Hockey Player Plans Inline Skate from Toronto to Vancouver for Charity in 2009

roadskater's picture

They told Mark DeMontis he'd never play hockey again. They were wrong. Now he's planning to skate across most of Canada this summer, despite being legally blind, all for charity, to help others like him enjoy skating and life.

DeMontis was a triple-A hockey player in Toronto with hopes of an NCAA scholarship when he was diagnosed with Leber's optic neuropathy, an eye disease that left him legally blind at age 17.

DeMontis never quit hockey, playing shinny with sighted players and skating for a Toronto team for the blind called the Ice Owls.

I have to say I'm too chicken to be anywhere near a flying hockey puck even if I can sort of see it! The one time our indoor inline speedskating coach brought out the hockey gear for us to play on our speedskates (!), I totally forgot where the carpeted deck and wall were, as I pursued the puck (ball) like a sheltie after a tennis ball. I could have lost my entire brain that day while decorating a wall of that skate shack. Obviously DeMontis is not scared of much...

This summer, the legally blind 21-year-old will inline skate from his hometown of Toronto to Vancouver to raise money and awareness for hockey programs for blind youth across Canada.

...what is so cool is that he has three pals going along on this magic quest...

He and three friends will leave Toronto on June 27 on trek that will take them through southwestern Ontario and on to stops in major cities such as Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton before they arrive in Vancouver on Sept. 12.

...now that's some way cool roadskating skateylove. You go Mark DeMontis. If you can do that, we all can strive for more in our efforts to help others.

Skateylove, roadskater

Names in the Game - International Herald Tribune -

Names in the Game
International Herald Tribune, France - 45 minutes ago
This summer, the legally blind 21-year-old will inline skate from his hometown of Toronto to Vancouver to raise money and awareness for hockey programs for ...
[Inline Skating]


Toronto, Ontario
43° 40' 12.8388" N, 79° 23' 12.318" W


MikeB's picture

Toronto to Vancouver?!

Are you kidding me? That's a forever long skate. Maybe Marianne can weigh in with more insight on this monumental task. Let's hope he wildly exceeds all expectations and manages to skate safely and healthy the entire trip. To make him feel more at home maybe his buddies will whack him from behind with a hockey stick every now and then; or when he stops for refueling the could punch him in the mouth - you know, to keep his senses alive. Really though, if he can do it, that would be one incredible feat. More to come on this for sure.
roadskater's picture

Newfoundland to British Columbia

There was a guy last year that did the whole country (Canada, that is). He started out with some snow and high winds in Newfoundland as I recall. He talked about some nasty wind coming at him from the west methinks as he reached the eastern end of Newfoundland. I might be dreamembering it wrongly.

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