Buffalo Stars U18 AA Defenseman Christian Buczek will represent Team USA at the 18th Winter Deaflympics to be held March 28-April 5 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Christian is one of only two players from New York.
Christian was selected to play for Team USA by the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association at a tryout last summer. The team has a geographically diverse roster with players representing 12 different states.
Team USA won the Gold in 2007 at the Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, but was denied a chance to defend the gold when the 2011 games were canceled.
The team operates under the governance of the USA Deaf Sports Federation. To qualify for the games, an athlete must have a hearing loss of at least 55 db in the “better ear”. Assistive devices, including hearing aids and cochlear implants are not allowed in competition, in order to assure that athletes are on an even playing field.
“We are very proud of Christian” said Stars President/GM Pete Preteroti. “He is a hard working player and a true team leader on our U18 squad” “Everyone on the team looks up to him” added U18 Head Coach Jerry Wheeler.
Participant countries will include: USA, Canada, Finland, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.
Christian is 18 years old and resides in Hamburg.
Information about the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association can be found at: www.ahiha.org
Information about the Deaflympics can be found at: www.2015deaflympics.org