April 30 - Taylor Lipsett has said that he and his United States ice sledge hockey teammates "don't like the taste of silver" and that their passion for gold at Sochi 2014 has been reignited after the squad fell to Canada in the gold medal game of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championship last week.
The US lost 1-0 to Canada in South Korea to take the silver medal in what was their last game of the 2012-2013 campaign and, although the team finished the season with a record 14 wins, the Paralympic gold and bronze medallist (pictured top) admitted wining silver is hard when you are used to claiming golds.
However, Lipsett explained the result has given the team the push it needed with the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics less than a year away.
"By getting silver it really ignites the fire and the passion of everyone all over," said the 26-year-old.
"Everyone has to get passion to get to this level of whatever sport they're in but we've been winning the big tournaments for going on four years now so not that a bunch of the guys got complacent but it's easy to get used to the success.
"By settling for silver it reignites that fire and guys don't like the taste of silver after we've been winning gold for so many years.
"It gives us the extra incentive and focus to do everything in our power to get back to where we belong."
The World Championship silver medal means the US ice sledge hockey squad have qualified for Sochi 2014 so Lipsett will now anchor the strong lineup as they aim to become the first team in Paralympic Winter Games history to defend the gold medal they claimed at Vancouver 2010.
Lipsett insists the team is up to the challenge to become "best team in the world again".
"The silver medal did qualify the team for the Sochi Paralympics next year so that was a huge accomplishment and a weight of our shoulders," he said.
"Now the focus is on preparing ourselves to be the first team to be defending the Paralympic gold medal in ice sledge hockey.
"We recently became the first team to win back to back World Championship gold medals in 2012 and we are the first team to win two Paralympic gold medals overall with the 2002 and 2010 teams that won gold.
"We are up to the challenge to be the first team to win back to back Paralympic golds.
"With the loss to Canada last week it really gives us the chance to focus on where we can improve and the next ten months are really going to be about making ourselves better.
"Being in the gym three or four days a week and being on the ice two or three days a week is really going to be important in becoming the best team in the world again.
"Each player individually getting better in the team, getting better as the season goes on this year.
"We are really excited about the next ten months leading up to Sochi and trying to get back on top of the ice sledge hockey world."
The Sochi Winter Paralympics are due to underway on March 7 next year and run until March 16, with the ice sledge hockey events taking place at the Shayba Arena.
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