Adidas just released their latest advert featuring Ryan Straschnitzki, the Canadian hockey player who was left paralyzed from the waist down after a dreadful accident that killed 16 of his teammates. In June the 20-year-old signed a three year contract with the sportswear manufacturer and this advert of one minute is the first time that he features in one of their marketing campaigns.
On the 6th of April last year the Humboldt’s Broncos junior team suffered a terrible loss when a semi-truck crashed into the bus carrying the entire team to a playoff game. The accident sadly killed 16 of the young hockey stars and left 13 injured. The driver of the semi-truck, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, was sentenced to eight years in prison earlier this year after he pleaded guilty on 29 counts of dangerous driving which resulted in the fatal crash.
Straschnitzki was one of those injured in the accident and was left paralyzed from his waist down. Straschnitzki, who is from Airdrie, Alta, was recently back at Humboldt, Sask. Five hundred twenty-six days after the accident, Straschnitzki attended the team’s season-opener against the Notre Dame Hounds, which also coincided with the team’s 50th anniversary. He stated that he decided to give himself time to heal and that even though he had mixed feelings about returning, he knew the time was right.
A Changed Future
In the advertisement, Straschnitzki says that when one door closes another opens. This is what this young star believes about his future. He stated that already as a young child, he wanted to play for the Canadian team. Now his aim is set on the Canadian Para-ice hockey team. He wants to be part of the team which is winning gold in the 2022 Paralympic Games he said. The games will be taking place in Beijing, and he is adamant that not only is he aiming to be in the team, but also to win the gold.
During September this year, Straschnitzki has been nominated for the People’s Choice Award in the Sports Hall of Fame for Canada. This award is a newly added recognition that aims at recognizing the potential of current champions in sports and their communities to become future Hall of Famers. This was such a great honour and privilege said his father, Tom Straschnitzki. They believed that the nation would forget him.
Straschnitzki also received a nomination as a champion of the Para-sports as well as Para-ice hockey in his country. Recognition also came from Wings of Life – Spinal Cord Research Foundation when they chose him a champion.
Cheryl Bernard, the president of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, stated that he has done so much with his life and that he is an inspiration for many people. Therefore it is vital that the public is made aware of his potential and thus is this young hockey star so deserving of all the recognition which he receives. Indeed a public profile with whom the sportswear giant would benefit from by association.