Speaking as someone who grew up in North Dakota and could barely ice skate going forward, it's not easy to skate backwards and forward all while moving a little rubber disk around the rink.
Just about every sport has athletes with incredible skills and/or physical ability and endurance. Hockey and soccer are both sports where "average" size people can do well. Diego Maradona might be the best soccer player ever (if he isn't, he's in the team picture) and he was ony 5' 5". Pele was 5' 8" and Franz Beckenbauer, my favorite player as a child, was about 6 feet.