PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – We watched him grow up on his hockey sled.
From the time he was a youngster, Dan McCoy showed us he had something special.
Now, as a member of the gold medal-winning sled hockey team at the Paralympic Games, Dan returned home to Pittsburgh as a champion.
As McCoy approached the baggage claim at Pittsburgh International Airport, he was overcome by joy when he was welcomed home.
“Started tearing up, like I started crying. I was not expecting any of it. So, just to have everyone here supporting me, knowing how far a lot of these people have traveled, just to drive to the airport and see me for a little bit. It’s a great feeling to have the support of everyone,” McCoy said.
The Pitt student was wearing his gold medal from the Paralympic Games in Russia. As a member of the men’s sled hockey team, he wanted to share it with his Pittsburgh friends.
“It’s hard to put into words. Everyone on the team worked so hard to get to where we got. To accomplish what we accomplished. It’s a great feeling in the locker room after the game and it’s a great feeling for everyone,” McCoy said.
Dan wasn’t the only one struggling to find the right thing to say.
“It’s indescribable. The pride of seeing your son play for the USA and fulfill a dream that has been literally a decade in the making. You see the outpouring of support that we have had all these years, it just — I get very emotional,” McCoy’s father, Mark, said.
“I appreciate everyone having some impact on my life and helping me achieve this, so this one is for you guys,” Dan said.
With the games behind them, Dan’s dad knows there is still work to be done.
“The perseverance and the dedication and the faith that he has developed in this process will carry him through in life very well. And he wants to extend that through to others. We keep talking about pay it forward and it’s true. He knows he has a responsibility to pass that on,” Mark said.
From everything we have learned about Dan so far, that won’t be a problem.