‘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)

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

The Okanagan’s first virtual wedding fair will be held Saturday, March 27. {Paul Rodgers photo)
Okanagan to host virtual wedding fair

Okanagan wine country is No. 1 destination for weddings - online event set for March 27

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
Kootenay-Columbia MP supports motion condemning Uighur genocide

Rob Morrison says labelling Uighur persecution as a genocide sends a message to Chinese government

Decorative snowboards provided by Off The Wall. (Claire Palmer photo)
Wildsight Golden contest wraps up

Two decorative snowboards were awarded

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

(Contributed)
Kelowna flight potentially exposed to COVID-19

Third case on a local flight this month, compared to 14 through January

Vernon Search and Rescue, with help from the Air Rescue One helicopter out of Wildcat Helicopters in Kelowna, and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue, were able to transport an injured snowmobiler to Vernon Regional Airport, where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with a serious, painful back injury. (Facebook photo)
Okanagan helicopter rescue teams called to retrieve injured sledder at Greystokes

Vernon and Central Okanagan Search and Rescue help load injured man into waiting helicopter

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Wills Hodgkinson, 10, and his mom Neeley Brimer get ready to battle round three of cancer. The community of Penticton has his back. (Submitted)
Community raises $21K to help Penticton boy battle third round of cancer

Okanoggin Barbers held the fundraiser on Saturday for 10-year-old Wills Hodgkinson

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
UPDATE: 70-year-old man killed in workplace accident at Baldy Mountain

The mountain closed on Saturday but has partially re-opened today (Sunday)

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)

Most Read