‘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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Fire Department investigating early morning fire at elementary school

Fire crews remain on scene at Strawberry Vale Elementary school

Saanich councillors scurry to ban rat poisons on municipal properties

A ‘small but important first step’ to protect local wildlife, councillor says

No swimming or skating at Juan de Fuca rec centre for now

The Q Centre to reopen starting on July 13

Sidney’s Star Cinema looks to reel in audience with reopening

It’s lights, camera, action — again — for Sidney’s Star Cinema in… Continue reading

Unemployment surpasses historic high in Greater Victoria, tourism hit hard

Hospitality and tourism sectors hurting as pandemic continues

VIDEO: Langford cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Most Read