Fernie (BC), Canada The small ski-crazy community of Fernie held a party Wednesday to honor the career of retired Canadian alpine ski racer Emily Brydon, complete with a parade and celebration for their hometown heroine attended by hundreds of residents at the local community center.
A BBQ, autograph session and several speeches followed, with proceeds going to the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation, which was established by the alpine ski racer in 2006 to increase the financial means for local youth to pursue “sports, the arts, education or other positive pursuits.”
“It was a beautiful day,” said Brydon. “‘Overwhelming’ might be a good word. Having a parade for me, it’s not something that I expected to be done for me. It was a great day.”
Several community leaders participated, including Fernie Mayor Cindy Corrigan, who presented Brydon with a key to the city, as well as many former coaches and teachers. The family doctor who delivered Brydon at Fernie Hospital was recognized for attending.
A ski run at Fernie Alpine Resort is also being named in Brydon’s honor. The run is specifically dedicated to ski race training and will be used be local members of the Fernie Alpine Ski Team, of which Brydon is an alumni. A local trail on the shoulder of the Elk River has also been named after her.
“I spent a lot of time on that run growing up and I go for a run on that trail all the time, it’s really beautiful. So that’s really cool,” Brydon said.
Alpine Canada Alpin Chief Athletics Officer Max Gartner was one of several speakers, highlighting Brydon’s contribution to ski racing in Canada.
Brydon, 30, officially announced her retirement at the GMC Canadian Championships in March after 13 years with the Canadian national alpine ski team. She finished her career with nine World Cup podiums, tying her for third all-time with Betsy Clifford among Canadian women. Brydon won a World Cup super G race in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 2008 and also captured 10 Canadian national championship titles including the super G in 2010.