I did not know that one can be allergic to ice. I especially didn’t know that one can play hockey while also being allergic to ice. But Quinnipiac goalie Chris Truehl is here to defy all odds in one of the strangest athlete-sport pairings ever.
Truehl is legitimately allergic to ice and very cold temperatures. According to Quinnipiac University, he learned about the condition while he was in the Air Force in 2013. He went into an ice bath after playing a hockey game and found welts on his skin. He believes he acquired the condition during a military training exercise, which left him with frostbite on 40 percent of his skin and forced him to end his military career.
“It pretty much drove a stake right through every aspect of my future,” he said.
Having started more than 50 games in two years as a goalie for the U.S. Air Force, Truehl knew his experience and skill would generate collegiate interest. “I leaned on the fact that I’m a veteran,” Truehl said. “I’ve played No. 1 teams before sellout crowds. I’ve been everywhere.”
Truehl can still play hockey with his condition, which causes him to break out in hives if he is too exposed to the cold. However, he has to move around near the net if he feels his body stiffen up.
“You’ll see me skating around a lot, stretching my legs, moving my arms,” Truehl said. “If I start to feel my body stiffen, or my skin begin to tighten and feel uncomfortable, I absolutely have to.”
So far, Truehl has been able to overcome his condition, and his team is ranked 23rd in the NCAA hockey rankings. Hockey might not be the sport you would pick for someone like Truehl, but he’s proving he can make it work.