By Tori Taylor, October 8 2019 —
Ryan Straschnitzki survived the devastating accident that injured 13 and killed 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos team in April of 2018 — after a semi truck ran a stop sign and crashed into their bus. Straschniski was paralyzed from the chest down and did not know if he would ever play on the ice again.
Straschniski recently appeared in an Adidas ad saying, “As a kid I always dreamed of playing for Team Canada… and I still do.”
The 20-year old athlete is a true example of dedication and positivity. He took almost no time after the life-altering accident to declare his new goal of joining Canada’s sledge hockey team and winning gold in the Paralympic Games.
Adidas noticed the passionate young athlete when he first started playing sledge hockey. Straschniski signed a three-year deal with the company and has been nothing but a positive pillar for both the brand and all those that come in contact with him and his story.
“When one door closes, another one opens,” Straschnitzki says in the new ad that came out a few weeks ago.
Amidst 16 other athletes, Straschniski has made the shortlist for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame “People’s Choice Award.” The award ceremony will be held in Toronto later this month and is the first of its kind. Typically an athlete is required to have been retired from their sports for a minimum of four years before being inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, the People’s Choice Award is open to current athletes as a way to build a portfolio of future hall-of-fame athletes.
The Hall of Fame’s president and Olympic curling silver medallist, Cheryl Bernard spoke of Straschniski as an organic pick for the award because of his above and beyond resilience and hard work overcoming the traumatic obstacles he has been presented with at such a young age.
“What a role model,” Bernard said about now-sledge hockey player. “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.”
Strachniski absolutely deserves to be featured in the Adidas ad as a passionately positive role-model and unfaltering athlete in the face of unimaginable adversary.