About Graeme Murray
Biographic Information about Graeme Murray: keynote Speaker, Hockey Player, Gold Medalist and Canadian
Gravenhurst’s own Graeme Murray was a tenacious defenceman with over 14 years of experience in international competition with the Canada’s National Sledge Hockey Team.
When he was three, Murray suffered an asthma attack and while being treated, he contracted a virus that attacked the nerves in his lower spine and caused paralysis in both legs.
His love for sledge hockey began when then 11-year-old Murray was introduced to the sport. Not only did he love it, but he was also very good at it.
He began playing right away with the Elmvale Bears practising with the team at 7 a.m. every Sunday morning and participating in tournaments. The Gravenhurst Centennial Arena – now renamed the ‘Graeme Murray Arena’ on Sep. 20 – has been a second home for many years and a place to hone his skills.
Before everybody knew it, Murray made the national team at only fifteen years old, he was the youngest player to represent Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Paralympic Winter Games.
He accomplished his dream of winning a Paralympic medal with his team at the 2006 Torino Winter Games when they won the first Gold in the history of the Canadian Sledge Hockey team.
Murray also competed at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games as well as the 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships bringing home numerous medals.
Murray and the team ended the pre-Paralympic season on a strong note at the 2013 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships in Goyang, South Korea by reclaiming the Gold medal. Murray scored the lone goal of the final game against the United States that would make Canada World Champion again.
The 29-year-old began the 2013-14 season where he had left it by winning another Gold at the Four Nations Tournament in Sochi, Russia – a test event held prior to the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. One was not enough, so Murray went on to win another one front of 40 family members and friends at the 2013 World Sledge Hockey Challenge held in Toronto in December 2013.
Murray’s focus during that season was to play to the best of his abilities and consistently train for Sochi. He and his team could not have been more ready, winning all of their preliminary games and strongly headed toward becoming Paralympic Gold medallists.
Fate had decided differently during the semi final against the United States where the team lost its only game in the entire tournament, declining them the chance to repeat Torino’s story.
The loss was a very difficult one to swallow given the Canadian team had dominated the international scene throughout the season and was determined to bring home Gold. Murray and his teammates had only one day to get over the disappointment and focus on winning the bronze against Norway with hard work and pride. They did in front of a huge Canadian crowd composed of family and friends at Shayba Arena.
To this day, it is Murray’s favourite Paralympic Games, and he is very proud of how he and his team turned a difficult situation into a winning one.
Murray has competed in many countries around the globe proudly representing Canada and Gravenhurst, but still remains very involved in his hometown participating in community events and supporting local initiatives.
Today Murray has retired from competition and lives in Gravenhurst where he mentors youth in sport and runs a Not-for-Profit Organisation Accomplish Today Fund for Sport - Raising money for youth with disabilities and offering them opportunities in sport