‘What a role model:’ Paralyzed Bronco makes Adidas ad, hall of fame nominee list

The 60-second inspirational ad popped up online this week

Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki, left, plays in a fund raising sledge hockey game in Calgary on September 15, 2018. A new ad shows a serious Ryan Straschnitzki taping up his hockey stick and pulling on an Adidas jersey before he slides away on an ice sled. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

An ad shows a serious Ryan Straschnitzki taping up his hockey stick and pulling on an Adidas jersey before he slides away on an ice sled.

“As a kid I always dreamed of playing for Team Canada … and I still do,” Straschnitzki narrates in the commercial.

“You know, when one door closes, another one opens.”

The 20-year-old from Airdrie, Alta., was paralyzed from the chest down after a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team crashed into a semi truck that ran a stop sign in April 2018.

Sixteen people were killed and 13, including Straschnitzki, were injured in the collision in rural Saskatchewan.

Shortly after the crash, Straschnitzki made it his goal to join Canada’s sledge hockey team and win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games.

His positive attitude caught the attention of Adidas and he signed a three-year deal with the sportswear company earlier this year.

Initially, Straschnitzki was hired to participate in Adidas Canada’s hockey and training campaigns and programs.

But the 60-second inspirational ad popped up online this week.

“They did a really good job and made me look good, so I can’t complain,” Straschnitzki told The Canadian Press.

“I mean, my dad always bugs me I’ve got a face for radio,” he said with a laugh.

READ MORE: Paralyzed Bronco returning to Humboldt for first time since crash

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame has also shortlisted Straschnitzki and 16 other athletes for it’s first ever People’s Choice Award. The top four will be honoured with trophies at an induction ceremony in Toronto in late October.

Cheryl Bernard, the hall of fame’s president and an Olympic curling silver medallist, said Straschnitzki was a natural choice because of his resilience, grit and hard work. The attention he has brought to sledge hockey and his message is inspiring.

“What a role model,” she said.

“I’m absolutely certain there’s been some horrible nights and days, and I look at what he’s done and I don’t think I would have it in me. And I think that message is what the public needs to see.”

To be inducted into the hall of fame, athletes have to be retired for at least four years, said Bernard. The People’s Choice Award is open to current athletes, who are champions of their sports and communities.

“We are basically starting to build a portfolio of future hall of famers.”

Straschnitzki said he takes being a role model seriously and has been inspired by wheelchair athlete Rick Hansen, who reached out to him after the bus crash.

Two weeks ago, Straschnitzki returned to Humboldt for the first time since the collision when the Broncos held their season opener. Straschnitzki said he also wanted to be there to support former teammate Graysen Cameron of Olds, Alta., who was also injured in the bus crash, as he returned to play with the team.

There was a sense of relief in being back, Straschnitzki said.

“It’s like nothing has changed. It was the same atmosphere.

“The town loves to go to the games.”

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

READ MORE: Injured Humboldt Broncos player returns home for first time since accident

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates visit Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary School

Students ask questions before participating in their own vote

RDN offers free transit to polling stations on Oct. 21

Initiative aimed at boosting voter turnout, reducing vehicles on road

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps customers away

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Cowichan Valley brothers win big in lottery for second time

Playing same numbers net big wins over a three year period

Sentencing date set for Vancouver Island father convicted of killing his two daughters

Andrew Berry was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder last month

B.C. woman finds mysterious coin among Grandma’s collection

Grandmother died when she was very young and her past is not well known to her mother

Most Read