St. Sebastian is the patron saint of athletes, including hockey players, because of his physical endurance and quest to defend faith. St. Sebastian is also the patron saint of archers and soldiers.
St. Sebastian was a soldier in the Roman army and remained firm in his faith while working to convert others, many under sentence of death. He was known for his athleticism and was named captain in the praetorian guards. He was sentenced to death when it was discovered he was a Christian, and he was shot with arrows. However, he was nursed back to health, intercepted the Emperor and denounced him for cruelty toward Christians. St. Sebastian was later beaten to death on orders from the Emperor.