Sometimes, someone in your family does something that makes you so proud. If you throw into the mix the fact that your family member was born with a physical disability, it makes us all even prouder. That is the case with Brittany Hudak. Brittany was born with the lower half of her left arm missing. Now, as a young adult, she has competed at the Paralympic Games in Sochi and recently competed in Pyeongchang, where she won a bronze medal in the woman’s 12.5 K biathlon event. What makes this even more amazing, is that Brittany has only been skiing for some six years.
I remember when Brittany was born and how worried her family was about her and concerned about what her limitations would be. I remember my Dad speaking with Brittany’s grandpa as they fretted over her future. As they talked more, they decided they had nothing to worry about because Brittany would grow up never knowing what it was like to have the use of two hands, that she would adapt. In total confidence, they decided that they should just sit back and watch what she would accomplish. Over the years, Brittany proved them right, but I don’t think even they dreamed back then that she would become an Olympic champion.
Well, they were right not to worry about Brittany. As she grew up, it became obvious to her family that she had the determination and perseverance to accomplish whatever she set her mind to. Without doubt, the more challenging something was, the more determined she was to achieve her goals.
I think it’s important to acknowledge and give at least a little credit to Brittany’s mom and dad, Rhonda and Dave. They gave her the freedom to be herself, the confidence to learn to do the things she wanted to do and the encouragement she needed - all the way to an Olympic podium. Brittany also had the support and love of her grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins evidenced by the amount of cheering coming from Prince Albert each time she raced and when they all gathered at Canadian Tire to greet her through the “Red Door”. I don’t doubt that they wasn’t a dry eye in the homes of Brittany’s large extended family, as the realization sank in that she had won a bronze medal.
Congratulations Brittany, you have made us proud. Congratulations also to Dave and Rhonda, Ben and Vi and to everyone in the family who supported and encouraged Brittany over the years.
And at only twenty-four, who knows what else she will do in her lifetime. I can hardly wait!