Originally aired on KCNC-TV – August 17, 2019
LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– A team of adaptive athletes scrimmaged on the ice in Littleton Saturday morning. The team captain, 15-year-old Ralen Flick, lives to play on the ice.
“He saw an Olympic sled hockey game and it changed his world,” said Ralen’s father Patrick.
“Sled hockey is just like regular hockey except you are sitting in a sled and you have two sticks instead of one,” said Ralen.
He uses a sled to play hockey because he has cerebral palsy.
“When people look at me they’re like, ‘Look at that person, he has a crutch,’ and they don’t really understand that there’s more to me than just what’s wrong with me, the disability that I have, but it’s hard for people to understand that and I wish they would,” said Ralen.
The fact Ralen can walk using a crutch is a testament to his determination.
“He could have had a life of being in a wheelchair, but chose to push it- and push past that- and he did and he is walking,” said Brenda, Ralen’s mother.
He’s enrolled in the career-focused, online school Destinations Career Academy of Colorado that gives him the flexibility to compete in sled hockey tournaments across the nation, while at the same time prepare for a career in web development.
“By the time he graduates, he’ll have a certificate in JAVA Python and C++ that will help him launch into a career in IT,” said Brenda.
Ralen’s two main goals are to become a web developer and use that skill and determination on the ice to get on the U.S. Sled Hockey Paralympic team.
“I know there’s things that people might go through that are tough, but it will eventually get better and will help you in the long run. There’s a lot of things in life that’ve shaped me into the person that I am,” he said.
Ralen competes on a team that is part of the non-profit, Colorado Sled Hockey.
To learn more about Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, visit https://codca.k12.com/