Dan McCoy – Downtown Renown

Gold Medal Winning Parathlete and Inspirational Role Model

Dan McCoy, ice sled hockey player and former member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, is one of 14 highlighted Pittsburgh athletes as part of the Downtown Renown: Pittsburgh Sports Greats series showcasing stories as inspirational as they are amazing. Designed in collaboration with artist Gavin Benjamin, find all sports profiles windows currently on view in windows around the neighborhood. 

Just four years after joining the Mighty Penguins and learning the game of sled hockey, an adaptive form of ice hockey for individuals with disabilities, Josh Wirt won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2002 Winter Paralympics. Inspired by his example, Fox Chapel native Dan McCoy has also succeeded at the highest level of the sport. While watching Wirt in the Salt Lake City games, McCoy announced, “I want to win a gold medal in the Olympics.” McCoy, who has spina bifida, then dedicated himself to making that dream come true.

Early Beginnings Turn Into Olympic Glory

McCoy began playing sled hockey at age 6. Selected at 14 to the U.S. Development Sled Hockey Team, just two years later, Dan was named to the U.S. National Team. He constantly balanced his health with the arduous training required to play on international ice. With three World Championship medals, two gold and one silver, McCoy has competed in rinks around the world. In 2014, he represented the United States in the Sochi Paralympic Games where the U.S. defeated the home team Russia, 1-0, to win the gold. McCoy notched two assists in five games and was a +3 in the tournament. Dan then played for the US National Team in the 2015 World Sledge Hockey Championships in Buffalo where he scored a goal in the gold medal game to help the U.S. defeat Canada 3-0.

Retired from the national team now, McCoy continues to captain the senior team for the Mighty Penguins and to mentor and train young athletes in the program. A 2017 graduate from the University of Pittsburgh, he is pursuing his master’s degree and works as a personal trainer with his own business, Dan McCoy Fitness. Dan’s persistence, his drive, and his determination to succeed owe much to his family’s support and their belief that he could achieve anything he set his mind to.

Learn more about the history of sports in Pittsburgh from the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center.

This spotlight is a part of the Downtown Renown: Pittsburgh Sports Greats series. Learn more about the project, and look for all 14 sports profile windows in Downtown!

Explore all the featured athletes

Arnold PalmerBill MazeroskiCharles “Chuck” CooperDan McCoyFranco HarrisHonus WagnerJoe GreeneJohn WoodruffJosh GibsonMario LemieuxRoberto ClementeSuzie McConnell-SerioSwin CashSidney Crosby

“Dan McCoy,” 2020
by Gavin Benjamin

📍 View this Pittsburgh Sports Great window installation at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and 6th Street, Downtown Pittsburgh.

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