Lonnie Hannah

Lonnie is a current member of our USA Hockey National Sled Hockey Team.  He hopes to continue through next year and play for his country in the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.
Lonnie Hannah knows all about overcoming adversity. At the young age of 20, a thousand pound shelving unit collapsed on top of him, rendering Hannah paralyzed from the waist down. He didn’t let that stop his competitive spirit, winning the wheelchair tennis US Open “D” division just months after his injury. He also went on to win the gold at the 2002 Parlympic Games in sled hockey.  Even cancer could not slow Hannah down. He was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2005 and went through several months of chemotherapy. He continued to practice and even though he wasn’t in top physical condition, still managed to make the 2006 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey team that competed in Torino

Hannah’s fight and resolve served as a great motivating force for the Sled Hockey Team that won bronze in Torino. Lonnie was so respected by his teammates and fellow U.S. Paralympians that he was chosen to carry the flag for the U.S. delegation at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games. In addition, Hannah received the Whang Youn Dai Overcome Prize, a coveted honor given to only two athletes (one male and one female) for best exemplifying Paralympic spirit.

After the 2006 Paralympics Lonnie took a break from playing with the National Team.  However, he didn't stop playing sled hockey.  He went home and started a brand-new sled hockey program in San Antonio, Texas as its player/coach.  There were not any sled hockey teams in Texas at that time.  The new sled hockey program he started consists primarily of men and women from our military who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The team is partnered with Operation Comfort and still plays today.  They participated in this year's USA Hockey Disabled Festival and took second place. When some of his players are ready to leave their military base in Texas after healing, they go home and continue playing hockey in their local area.  Because Lonnie started this team players are enjoying sled hockey all over the country. In addition, other teams are now starting in Texas because of the spark that Lonnie provided.

Lonnie has also been an assistant coach during the summer at the USA Hockey Sled Player Development Camp in Rochester, New York.  He loves to teach the kids the game of sled hockey and when he is finished playing with the national team hopes to continue coaching wherever needed.

Hannah has been married for 14 years to his wife Lindsay. They have a 9 year old boy who also plays hockey. One of Hannah’s favorite activities is hand cycling. He has ridden 500 miles across Iowa four years in a row at the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). Hannah is currently coaching sled hockey in San Antonio, helping wounded soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Major Achievements:

2006 – Bronze medal – Paralympic Winter Games
2004 - Silver medal - IPC World Championships
2002 – Gold medal-  Paralympic Winter Games
1995 – Won U.S. Open wheelchair tennis doubles championsips
1986 – Wheelchair tennis player of the year award
1985 – Won U.S. Open wheelchair tennis singles championships
1972 – Won U.S. roller speed skating gold medal