Brady Leman won ski cross gold at PyeongChang 2018, overcoming the struggles and heartbreak he’d experienced during his Olympic journey. Leman had just missed winning an Olympic medal at Sochi 2014 when he finished fourth in the Big Final.

That was four years after his first Olympic experience was amongst the shortest of any athlete at Vancouver 2010. He had been named as the first alternate to the men’s ski cross team and got the call to compete when Dave Duncan broke his collarbone during a training run, two days before the competition began. But the very next day Leman crashed during his own training run, aggravating a broken tibia that he had suffered in March 2009 for which he had spent the previous summer in rehab. The hairline fracture bent the rod that had been surgically implanted in his right leg.

In December 2010 Leman broke his right leg for a third time, which led to two rods being implanted. That caused him to miss the 2011 Winter X Games in Aspen, where he had been the reigning bronze medallist as part of a Canadian podium sweep in 2010. He also missed the 2011 World Championships. When he returned to competition, he had almost forgotten what it was like to ski pain-free. During the entire year leading up to Vancouver 2010 it had hurt just to put his boot on. After the third injury he had to think a long time about whether to come back, but he had confidence in where he could be. The 2011-12 season was the first in which Leman was completely healthy in two years.

He recorded his first World Cup podium finishes, including two victories, helping him to finish second in the World Cup ski cross standings. He had another solid season in 2012-13, recording four top-five finishes including two podiums. After Sochi 2014, Leman enjoyed some of his greatest success. He won gold at the 2016 X Games and finished second overall in the 2016-17 World Cup standings after posting seven podium finishes during the season, including two wins.

A little more about Brady…

Getting into the Sport: Learned to ski at 18 months… Became an alpine racer but after a tough year decided to give ski cross a try in 2008 and loved it immediately… Turned down funding and carding from Alpine Canada to pursue ski cross at his own expense, which would cost about $20,000 for the first season… Also turned down scholarship offers from American universities… Outside Interests: Favourite hobbies are golf, mountain biking, hiking, fishing and motocross… Working towards a financial service diploma online through SAIT… For every TV show he watches while on the road he also tries to read a book… Odds and Ends: Nickname: Wombat because his teammates thought he looked like a dead wombat they saw on the road during the ski cross team’s first training camp in Australia… Looked up to alpine skier Thomas Grandi… If he has a good race he will wear the same long underwear in his next race… RBC Olympian… Spent a lot of time at Canada Olympic Park when he was a kid because his mom worked there and would always get goosebumps while watching a Calgary 1988 highlight video on repeat…