Elan has a strong team in ski cross. The collection of wins, titles and medals from our competitors is impressive. Brady Leman has also contributed a lot to this. After 14 years of active ski cross competition, the 36-year-old Canadian has decided to end his skiing career.
He could not have imagined a better way to end his career than by winning the final race of the 2022-23 season in his home country, in front of the fans and surrounded by his teammates. Skiing and ski cross will certainly continue to be a part of his life in the future, especially since he will be able to spend more time freeriding and exploring the outdoors with his wife Catherine, which they both enjoy very much.
Brady is one of the very few remaining "old dogs" of ski cross and with his retirement we are passing the sport on to the new, younger generation. This brings back many great memories and emotions. I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to share my life and passion with people like Brady," added Slovenian most successful ski cross athlete, Filip Flisar.
Climbing to the Top
Brady Leman is proof that with perseverance and patience, you can accomplish anything. There have been many ups and downs in his career. His season has often been thwarted by injuries. He's tough as nails, returning to a sport where he broke his leg three times in two years. For example, in 2010 he even bent a titanium rod that was holding his lower leg together the day before he was meant to compete at the Vancouver Olympics. This caused him to miss the 2011 Winter X Games and prevent him from competing in the FIS World Championships that same year.
Getting back into a competitive rhythm is not easy, but with the support of the team, which Brady definitely had, everything was much easier. Despite the fact that skiing is an individual sport, the Canadian team does not act like it. When they celebrate the successes of their teammates, we can easily hear them as the loudest fans, despite defeats or injuries, they are the biggest support and driving force. For Brady, it looks like he comes back stronger each time and with an even greater desire to conquer the top podium in competitions.
“I have always admired Brady's work ethic on and off the hill. He always put the work in and left nothing up to chance. There are so many things in our sport that you can't control, but that you could. I admired his passion, his love for skiing and the emotions he put into success and failure,” says Brad’s Canadian teammate Brittany Phelan.
The 2011-12 season was memorable for Brady. It was the first without injuries, when he could simply enjoy competing and skiing. The results were commensurate as well. He stood on the podium for the first time, including twice at the top. From year to year, his successes grew. He won the X Games in 2016, finished second overall in the World Cup in 2018-19, and the highlight of his career is definitely winning the 2018 Olympic gold medal in PyeongChang as the first male representative from Canada.
"During our time together as teammates, we experienced many high points, a few rough lows, and everything in between. As for the high points, I'll always cherish the moment Brady skied to Olympic victory in 2018. It took a long time and tremendous persistence, perseverance and patience to achieve that. A few days earlier, he nearly took himself out of the race when he did a front flip after launching through the air and then straddling a gate in a high-G-forced part of the course. He folded like origami and hit the ground with tremendous force. It was painful enough watching the video of Kevin Drury's follow-cam video, let alone witness Brady gingerly hobble between his room and physio appointments just days before the big event. Then when he came back, not feeling anywhere near 100% physically, but mentally ready for nothing to stop him, back made watching his victory evermore sweeter. We exploded in the stands. For me, who had yet to compete, Brady's performance was a benchmark of what was possible. He gave me hope and boosted my confidence," says Kelsey Serwa, describing Brady's strong will and focus.
Chasing the Dream
Brady, who entered the world of skiing at the age of 18 months with his first turns. Which is not surprising, since his parents both worked in the ski industry. As time went on, the competition between friends shifted to alpine skiing competitions and later to the sport of ski cross. As a result, he came to know and love skiing from a different, more serious side. This helped him to become better and faster. At first, he participated in all five alpine disciplines, but he always enjoyed the fast ones the most. Since the thrill of racing head-to-head on a course full of big jumps, roller packs and steeply banked turns appealed to him, it was only logical that he switched from alpine to skicross. He did so together with Olympic ski cross champion Kelsey Serwa.
At Elan, we are proud that Brady is part of our family, that he has won the most prestigious titles with Elan skis, and that he has proudly raised them in the air at all the milestones of his varied career. “Impressive career. 5 World Cup victories, 31 World Cup podiums, World Championship silver medalist, X-Games winner and Olympic Champion. His professionalism, great personality and the above mentioned results make him one of the best athletes in the history of ski cross. It was a privilege to work with him. Brady has given us many great memories and good times. I am sure that we will continue our collaboration and I wish him all the best,” concludes Blaž Lazar, racing team manager.