Jen Yung Lee was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 8 years old. They moved to San Francisco, CA, where he graduated from Westmoor High School in 2004. After witnessing the terrors of September 11, 2001, he understood the need and wanted to serve our great country. 9/11 instilled an unquenchable conviction and a desire to protect our country, thus immediately upon graduation he joined the military and accepted a career as a helicopter mechanic. In 2006 during a one-year deployment to a combat zone in Iraq, Jen had an opportunity to fulfill his conviction. He returned to Hawaii, having earned the rank of Sergeant (E5) during his deployment. In March 2009, while stationed in Savannah, Georgia, he was involved in a motorcycle accident, which resulted in an above the left knee amputation one month later. During his strenuous rehab, at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas, he was introduced to sled hockey through Operation Comfort (a nonprofit group providing rehabilitative and therapeutic programs for wounded vets). Little did he know that this introduction would lead him to the loftiest opportunity of his athletic career.
While still being active duty military, he earned a spot on the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team as a goaltender in Sochi, Russia to defend a net atop a frozen pond and display his lightning-quick reflexes. After serving in the United States Army for 10 years, he was medically retired with the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2015. After winning the gold medal with his sled hockey teammates at the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, he decided to continue his education as a full-time student. He transferred from the University of Incarnate Word to the University of Texas (UT) in the spring 2015 to major in Sport Management. Despite his time off from the national sled hockey team, he was actively involved with wheelchair basketball, amputee cycling, adaptive golf and CrossFit. He currently plays and coach on the San Antonio Rampage Sled Hockey team and a local travel hockey club (which is a mixture of wounded, disabled veterans and residents with disabilities). After taking a year off, he battled his way and earned a spot on the 2016-2017 U.S. National Development Sled Hockey Team. Shortly after, he earned a spot to represent our country at the 2018 Winter Paralympic Games in South Korea, where they earned a gold medal!
If Jen is not training on the ice, you can find him at CrossFit Optimistic, in San Antonio TX, executing one leg box jumps, heavy deadlifts and muscle ups. As he strives to raise awareness, he has been featured in three documentaries and one competitive sports show: UT directed, “Handicapable,” PBS produced “Ice Warriors,” the story behind his sled hockey team’s pursuit of gold in Sochi, Russia and CBS Sports filmed, “Courage in Sports.” In 2015, he was featured in the competitive sports show, “Triumph Games.” Most recently, he assisted with UT’s Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), in its first wheelchair basketball clinic, bringing adaptive sports awareness to campus. One day, he will bring adaptive sports awareness back to his native country of Taiwan and hopes to remove the social stigma of people with disabilities. His long-term goal is to help Amira Idris and TheraV, reach out many of his amputee brothers and sisters who are currently suffering from phantom and neuropathic pain. With the TheraV Elix device, he is confident that it would be the solution in helping amputees better manage their phantom pain in the future.