Taylor Lipsett retired last year from a tremendous career on the ice. He was on both of the Paralympic gold medal-winning U.S. sled teams, and he also helped the U.S. team to two world championship gold medals. As an individual player, 2012 marked his standout year, as he led the world in goals and points for the season. But as he will tell you, his proudest achievement to-date is Mila, his daughter, who he and his wife, Kathleen, welcomed just six weeks ago.
“She’s completely changed my life,” said Lipsett. “You go from taking care of yourself to having someone who relies on you 24 hours a day. Priorities change, sleep schedules change, everything changes - for the better- it’s amazing.”
This week, Lipsett is away from home for the first time since Mila was born. He’s in Buffalo, New York for the 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships. Only this time, it’s not as a player, but as a color commentator for the IPC livestream broadcast - his first time in the broadcast booth.
“I love it, I knew I was going to enjoy it, because I enjoy being around the sport,” said Lipsett. “I was a little nervous going into it, mostly because I wanted to make sure I knew how to properly pronounce all of the players’ names.”
In addition to his broadcast role, Lipsett has worked with local media this week and continues to promote the sport, including an appearance at a local baseball game where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
In the booth, Lipsett has been working alongside retired ice hockey player Brent Pope, who served as a color commentator for the Sochi and Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games, as well as during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. With a little help from Pope covering up to four games per day, Lipsett has become really comfortable in his newfound role. He says it’s been a great challenge and one he hopes to continue doing in the future. But he does confess that being on the other side of the ice has been an adjustment.
“The biggest thing I miss is the locker room – the camaraderie between the guys” said Lipsett. “Steve Cash was in my wedding. I mean, I’ve developed life-long friendships, and all of those jokes and pranks we played on each other over the years, that’s what I miss the most.”
And Mila, after only a few days away, he definitely misses Mila.
“My wife keeps sending me photos and updates every day, so it helps,” said Lipsett. “Everyone says kids grow too fast, but after 10 days of being here, I know she will already be bigger and look a little different when I get home.”