“You know, when one door closes, another one opens.”Ryan Straschnitzki
Ryan Straschnitzki was a player for the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team at the time of the bus collision in April 2018. Ryan, from Airdrie, Alberta, was paralyzed from the chest down after the collision. Sixteen people were killed and 13, including Straschnitzki, were injured after their bus crashed into a semi truck on their way to a playoff game.
Ryan made it a personal goal to make it onto Canada’s sledge hockey team and win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. His positive outlook on life landed him a three-year deal with Adidas earlier this year, with an advertisement coming online earlier this week.
Straschnitzki, along with 16 other athletes, has been shortlisted for the Canada Sports Hall of Fame for the People’s Choice Award. He was said to be chosen because of his resilience, grit, and hard work. Most awards within the Canada Sports Hall of Fame require athletes to be retired for at least 4 years. However, the People’s Choice Award is open to current athletes who are champions of their sports and communities.
Sport endorsements give a view into the constantly changing consumer demographic. When young athletes receive sport endorsements, their lives are forcibly brought into the public eye and reinforce the sport heroism that comes along with athletic skill, pro-social behaviour, and personal characteristics, rather than characteristics of celebrity status.