THE FREE PRESS Thursday, May 20, 2010
Emily Brydon day in Fernie By Rebecca Edwards Free Press Staff
mily Brydon chose a word from her British-born mother’s vocabulary to describe how it felt to lead a parade in her honour through her hometown: “Gobsmacked.” “It was unbelievable, it was overwhelming. I never thought anything like that would happen to me or for me. It was a pretty amazing experience,” she told The Free Press afterwards. “I think the community showed its true colours, it was an honour beyond words. Everyone has something special to give. The fact I was honoured for something I love to do is pretty amazing.” Fernie’s Emily Brydon Day celebrations began at 4:30 p.m. last Wednesday when two pipers – including Fernie Alpine Ski Team member Glen Nowicki – started the parade from the College of the Rockies. Mounties Cpl. Andy Veltmeyer and Cst. Kevin Johnston marched in full red serge and were followed by children bearing the flags of Canada and British Columbia. Cheers and applause began as Fernie Fire Dept’s restored 1928 Studebaker fire truck turned the corner onto Second Avenue, with Emily and her mom Rosemary waving from
Emily Brydon (in black) waves to cheering supporters in Fernie from the top of the vintage Studebaker fire truck with her mother Rosemary, Mayor Cindy Corrigan (seated) and Fire fighter Dave Kurschenska. Photo by R. Edwards
the back, Mayor Cindy Corrigan seated in front and Fire Fighter Dave Kurschenska driving. Behind walked dozens of kids who have been helped by the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation, which Brydon later told the crowd she founded after realizing she wanted to produce more from her sport than results. The charity has helped hundreds of children in the Elk Valley to pursue sports, arts and other activities. The parade made its way to the community centre along streets filled on both sides with waving supporters. The Brydons shouted out to those they knew and took special effort to wave to the children in the crowd. At Overwaitea the fire truck slowed down for a crowd of cow bell-wielding supporters, including Annie Cox and Julie Laird
who were wearing t-shirts with a photo of Emily as a child, and the words ‘Go Emily!’ Cox said the group is Emily’s fan club, who attended every Lake Louise World Cup race since she was 18, finally seeing her reach the podium last December with second and third place finishes. At the community centre Emily was piped into the hall, and received a series of honours and tributes. Hallie MacLachlan – a FAST ski racer who has Olympic aspirations of her own – spoke on behalf of kids who benefited from the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation; former FAST coach Jon Blair called Emily “a true inspiration” for the ski racers who followed her and technical delegate Dr Rod Geddis paid tribute to Emily’s late father Bob and mom Rosemary
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The final speech of the evening came from Emily, who said she never thought about ski racing as a career choice. “I did it because I loved it, I didn’t see a future in it; I didn’t think I could be a big shot ski racer and travel and go to Olympics – I just did it because I loved it. The opportunities and doors opened for me.” She added: “I never stopped believing and people around me never ever told me I couldn’t do something. I didn’t know that was an option.” Thanking the organizers, she said: “I am humbled beyond belief, I am so proud to be a Fernieite right now.”
for allowing her to grow Emily also received the up with the opportunities freedom of the City of – and the height genes – to Fernie from Mayor Cindy become a great ski racer. Corrigan, the key to the Max Gartner, program City and her photo will be director of the Canadian placed on the wall of fame Ski Team, paid tribute to at City Hall. Emily’s accomplishments – three Olympics, a World Cup gold and one of the most decorated Canadian females in ski history – and also her inspiration and good humour. Lake Louise World Cup organizer Bruce Hamstead said the volunteers – nicknamed the sled dogs – will miss Emily. As reported in last week’s Free Press, two trails have been renamed to honour Emily – Fernie Alpine Resort’s Spruce run, which is used by FAST each weekend, will now be Emily’s Run. The trail that runs along the river between the bridges in Fernie will be Emily’s fan club wave their cow bells as if in the World Photo by R. Edwards named the Emily Brydon Cup stands at Lake Louise. Trail.
Citizen of the Year Do you know an outstanding Elkford citizen that should be recognized as our 2010 Citizen of the Year? If so, submit your nomination in confidence by June 4, 2010 @ 4:00 pm local time to: Citizen of the Year Nominating Committee P.O. Box 340 District of Elkford 816 Michel Rd. Elkford, BC V0B 1H0
Nomination Packages are available at www.elkford.ca and the Elkford District Office