After a long road Brady Leman is finally golden
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea ' Brady Leman was sitting in a Toronto hotel a couple months ago, and the Calgary-born ski cross racer had a pretty good approach ahead of what would be his second or third Winter Games, depending on whether you count that time in Vancouver when he injured himself while training and couldn't actually compete, the experience he calls 'my short Olympics.'
'Really, what's the worst that can happen in South Korea'' Leman asked, throwing up his hands. 'I'm going to come fourth again or break my leg' I already did both those things. And you move on. The result is going to be what it's going to be.'
Well, the result for the guy who'd seen the worst of what the Olympics has to offer was, finally, golden. The third time was the charm. And yes, those two nightmare experiences made the win all the sweeter.
On Wednesday at the Phoenix Snow Park, Leman earned Canada's ninth gold medal of these Games, the country's first ever Olympic hardware in men's ski cross. When the 31-year-old crossed the finish line, just ahead of Switzerland's Marc Bischofberger, Leman came to a stop and then he put his hands over his goggled face and he fell to his knees. As he stepped up to the top podium step here to receive his plush mascot ' the gold medal comes later ' he pumped his arms and then threw back his head, still in disbelief.
Could he even put it into words' 'No,' Leman said, later, laughing, leaning on his poles, wearing ski gloves that feature a fierce growling cat and a Canada flag. 'Amazing day today. To have everything come together like that on race day at the Olympics is incredible.'....
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