Rico Roman, Paralympic gold medalist, sled hockey

Life at Deloitte

Rico Roman

U.S. Paralympian, Sled Hockey

In 2001, upon graduating from Alpha High School in Gresham, OR, Rico joined the army and left the plush greenery and trademark rains of the Pacific Northwest for the desert and scorching heat of Iraq. A staff sergeant in the 2nd of the 14th Infantry, 10th Mountain Division, Roman served three tours in Iraq (and one in Kosovo). On February 22, 2007, with less than a month to go on his last tour, Roman had finished the day working a security checkpoint at Sadaral Yusuf. Returning to base, his vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, and Roman’s life changed forever. A future of limited mobility, endless medication and constant pain was enough motivation for Roman and his family to eventually choose to give up his leg. One year after returning from Iraq, his left leg was amputated above the knee.

About Rico Roman

What got you started in your sport?
After I was injured due to a road side bomb in Iraq. I got into the sport through a group called Operation Comfort. A nonprofit organization that helps wounded warriors with rehabilitation there at Brooke Army Medical Center and the Center For The Intrepid. I was hand cycling with the group and they asked if I would like to try sled hockey. At first I didn't want to try the sport, because I wasn't in to hockey at the time. I'm glad they convinced me to try the sport and to help me get to where I am now, on the USA Paralympic team.

What advice would you give to students about following their passion/their dreams?
Chase your dreams as big as they might be. Hard work and believing in yourself can get you what ever you want in life.

Why did you choose to work with Deloitte?
There are a lot of reasons why I chose to work with Deloitte, but if I had to pick just one I’d say that I’m really touched by Deloitte’s support and partnership with the Warrior Games, and of our armed forces, in general. As an Army guy, that means a lot to me.

What’s your favorite Olympic or Paralympic moment or memory?
I have so many. Definitely the obvious one, of winning a gold medal, but on a more personal note there was a moment during the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games when I looked up into the stands and caught my son looking at me. He had never seen me play before at the international level and I saw him looking at me, wearing my Team USA jersey, proud of his Daddy. It only lasted a second, but the memory will last forever.

What is a specific skill/talent you utilize to help reach your goals?

I have two:

  • Don’t take yourself/it too seriously. Have fun. I LOVE to play hockey and I love to be in the locker room having fun with my guys, teasing them and getting teased right back. When you love what you do and have fun doing it you’ll find it’s not so hard to get good at it.
  • Every man (or woman) has to do his (or her) job and do it well, and if so, the whole team moves forward. That’s something I take very seriously. I have a job on the ice, a specific one, I need to focus on my role, my piece of the puzzle, and do it as best I can. If everyone makes the same commitment then the whole team becomes a powerful entity.
Rico Roman, Paralympic gold medalist, sled hockey
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