Bt Marcia C. Smith | Orange County Register

ANAHEIM – Just before the Ducks won their first Stanley Cup on June 6, 2007, Bonner Paddock walked with his usual limp and that hitch in his gait through a darkened tunnel beneath the rumbling Honda Center stands.

Headed to the celebration tent, he heard the foot-stomping thunder and howling from the orange-towel-waving crowd of 17,372 as the Ducks held their commanding third-period Game 5 lead over the Ottawa Senators.

Soon the Ducks would be hoisting the cup above their heads, and Paddock, then the team’s senior manager of corporate partnerships, would too have his moment with Lord Stanley’s chalice.

“Holding the cup I was reminded of far I had come in my life, and it made me want to think of something great I should do,” recalled Paddock, 39, of Laguna Beach.

Winning the cup was the pinnacle for the players. We hear about that all the time. But it also served as a turning point for this man behind the scenes, wearing a suit and sporting his own playoff beard.

Paddock slingshot out of that hockey victory eight years ago to accomplish incredible feats never done before, much less attempted, by a person with cerebral palsy.

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