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Alexi Balakhonstev - USSR (Former)

Balakhontsev, Alexei Valerievich was born on January 24, 1965 in Leningrad, the USSR. In 1980 he entered a technical vocational school to train as a mechanic of automatic and semi-automatic machines. Upon graduation he worked at one of the Industrial Corporations called LOMO.

In April of 1985 he was enrolled into the Soviet Army Forces. Upon the completion of a training program, he became a paratrooper in Afganistan. During a military operation in November of 1985, a landmine explosion took Alexei’s leg.

He left the hospital after 6 months of recovery and returned to work at LOMO 3 months later. Alexei was awarded the highest military order – the Order of the Red Banner.

Alexei now plays on the first "vertical" amputee hockey team in St. Petersburg, Russia called the "St. Petersburg Elks". He was the first of the Russian players to visit the US during an International Conference on Prosthetic Rehabilitation in 1998, where he demonstrated a new lower limb prosthetic device created by Dr. Mark Pitkin. As Alexei said, he would never have believed that he could play ice hockey.

Alexei is married with two children. He works hard in his small private business that he started in 1988 to make a living because the social security supplement from the state doesn't cover even a small part of his family’s bills. As hard as he works, he would never miss a hockey training session.

View the next profile: Nguyen Thi Cuu

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