After a challenging back and forth with the International Paralympic Committee to secure her right to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, Brenna Huckaby finally received clearance to participate and the perseverance paid off. Huckaby won a bronze in snowboard cross on Monday.
The athlete shared a heartfelt message on Instagram: “I fought to compete at a disadvantage at the Paralympic Games this year. I fought for my right to compete even if I would be the only above the knee amputee woman on the track. I fought for inclusion in Paralympic snowboarding and I fought all the way to a bronze medal.”
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Huckaby was informed more than two years ago that her race classification was being eliminated in these Games due to a lack of viable competitors in her impairment division. Having won two golds in the 2018 Games, she petitioned to move to a different class, even though the new division would be potentially more difficult.
She continued, “This medal means more to me than any gold I’ve ever won. This medal symbolizes every person who's been told “no” but shows up and gives it their all anyway. This medal symbolizes people who have been purposefully shut down but chose to stand up and speak out for what is right. This medal is for the underdog who wants the opportunity to compete regardless of how hard the playing field is.”
“I showed up with the most impaired disability on the race track and won a freaking bronze medal. I’m so incredibly proud of myself right now and I am so happy to share this moment and win with you all. Without you, this would mean nothing. This is bigger than me, it always has been and I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to present that.”