Brady Leman grew up skiing the slopes of the Calgary area and he returned to Nakiska Friday as an Olympic champion in ski cross. Hundreds of young skiers were thrilled to meet him, get their helmets signed and touch his gold medal.
“That’s always been one of the coolest things for me is to hang out with the kids— seeing a kid ski by with your signature on their helmet is a pretty cool feeling,” said Leman.
“Now they’re that much more excited after the Olympic gold. It’s pretty special.”
Some of the best teenaged skiers in Canada were excited to see Leman.
The national alpine training centre is based at Nakiska and the team members hope to be in his shoes one day.
“We all want to be like him,” said 16-year-old elite skier Aaron Puskas. “Obviously it’s inspirational to look at the figure of excellence. It was amazing to meet him and he did perfect representing Canada.”
Nellie Muldrew, 17, is one of Puskas’ teammates.
“It’s really cool because anyone can do it — even if you’re from Calgary or Edmonton — you can go out and win a gold medal at the Olympics,” Muldrew said. “So it’s very inspiring.”
It’s been a whirlwind this week for Leman, who flew back on Tuesday from Europe, spent the week touring, talking to kids and showing off his medal. But next week it’s back to France for the last World Cup event of the season.