While most Princeton students were enjoying the first weekend of spring break, sophomore Declan Farmer was up to something a bit more exciting — leading Team USA to a gold medal in sled hockey at the 2018 Winter Paralympics. Farmer was the star in the dramatic 2–1 U.S. victory in the gold medal game against Canada, scoring the tying goal with just 38 seconds left in the third period and notching the game winner three and a half minutes into the sudden death overtime period.
Team USA coasted through its first four games of the tournament. It beat Japan 10–0, the Czech Republic 10–0, and Korea 8–0 in the preliminaries, before defeating Italy 10–1 in the semifinals. Against Canada, however, Farmer and Team USA found themselves matched up with a much tougher opponent. Canada controlled the game early on, scoring a first-period goal and keeping the United States off the board. The score remained 1–0 until late in the third period, when Team USA pulled its goalie in desperation, and Farmer managed to beat the Canadian goaltender to tie the game in the final minute of regulation. In overtime, Team USA was dominant — Farmer narrowly missed out on one goal, hitting the post, before finding the back of the net minutes later to secure the win and the gold medal for the United States.
Leading the tournament in both goals and points, with 11 and 17, respectively, Farmer was named the MVP of the tournament. This was yet another accolade for one of the most accomplished players in USA sled hockey history. He holds the all-time Team USA record in career goals (69) and points (130) and is second all-time in assists (61). Farmer also won an ESPY in 2014 for the Best Male Athlete with a Disability.
Farmer began playing sled hockey in 2006 and joined Team USA in 2012. Since then, he has won two Paralympic gold medals (in 2014 and 2018) and five World Sled Hockey Challenge tournaments with the team.