Way back before the 2010 Games, YVR was given the opportunity to sponsor an Olympic athlete. A young, energetic downhill skier from Vancouver Island was chosen named Braydon Luscombe. Funding was provided to help him acquire the necessary equipment and recoup travel costs and in exchange he wore the YVR logo proudly on his helmet. At the time, we probably thought that we were the ones being generous, but since then it has become apparent that Braydon has given us back much more than we could ever give him, in the form of inspiration.
But instead of us telling you Braydon's story, we thought it would be better to let Braydon tell you himself:
My journey to the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter games started when I lost my leg to flesh eating disease at the age of 5.
I got into skiing roughly a year after that just as a family activity that we could all learn and do together with my brothers and sisters. I quickly excelled in the sport and was introduced to the ski racing world. I loved it from the moment it began - the atmosphere, the speed and the competition was all very appealing to me.
I raced with the B.C. provincial ski team for roughly six years and fore-ran the Vancouver 2010 Games giant slalom race. In 2011, I wasn picked up by the national prospect team, and that’s where the whole process began. I trained and did some races with the prospect group, gaining confidence along the way. Just one season with the prospect group, and then I made the Canadian National Team.
I have been racing with them ever since, and I love every second of it. The rush of the race course, the adrenaline you get from the high velocity and the feeling you get from winning is incredible and leaves you wanting more.
I don’t know what to fully expect going into Sochi. I know the atmosphere of the Games from fore running the Vancouver Games but I don’t truly know the feeling of racing as a true athlete and putting everything on the line on the world stage where everyone will be watching.
I have so many emotions thinking about it right now and it instantly gets my heart beating and my adrenaline going, wanting to race. My whole family and girlfriend will be there and that will make it all that much more special of a time. They are the ones who have been there for me since day one and supported me through anything and everything and believed in me the whole way. It’s going to mean a lot to be there and race for Canada. I’ve always looked up to the team and the older racers when I was a younger guy, so it means a lot to have earned a spot on that squad I once looked up to.
YVR has played a major role in my success over the past four years. Alpine skiing is a high-demand sport with huge costs every year, from equipment to travelling. I would not have been able to do it without the support of YVR. YVR has had my back for four straight years, and I can’t wait to make the YVR community proud.
The Opening Ceremonies are in three shorts days and we will be checking in with Braydon at the Paralympics regularly as he tries to bring a medal home to Canada. We wish Braydon the best of luck and will be rooting on him and the rest of Team Canada in Sochi!
To learn more about Braydon and his journey check out this story from CTV about his inspirational journey.
Photo Credit: Malcolm Carmichael