Brydon leaves ski racing at peak of career – The Free Press Turns 115 Years Old

Brydon leaves ski racing at peak of career - The Free Press Turns 115 Years Old

April 1 2010

Free Press Files

Emily Brydon has been in training for as long as she can remember – but, since her last professional race in the Canadian National Ski Championship last Saturday, she is now officially off duty.

Emily, who turns 30 next month, made official her long-discussed retirement last Thursday, hours after winning the national Super G title. Her final race was in the dual slalom on Saturday, when she placed sixth.

“It is a kind of weird feeling not to have to do something,” she told The Free Press this week. “It makes me feel really guilty, I’m so trained mentally to be working all the time.”

She added: “To be perfectly honest I haven’t adjusted to it, I haven’t even thought about it – I have only just finished the season, I’m always so tired at this time of year and I’m always relaxing after the season at this time, so for now it is just normal for me.

“I have given myself until September to figure out what I want to do and how to do it. Until then there is no planning – I’m not accountable to anyone anymore.”

Even in retirement, Emily has some sponsorship obligations to fulfill – functions, public speaking and meetings await in the next few weeks, until she gets to go on vacation with a group of friends and former teammates.

Looking back on her final season, she says she was aiming to go out on top by taking the national Super G title, but taking a second and third place on consecutive days at the Lake Louise World Cup in December was the highlight of the year.

“It was something I worked really hard for, for many years. It was kind of the pinnacle of my achievement. You know what? I’m sure if the Olympics had turned out differently maybe my answer would have been different.

“It was more important for me to podium at Louise – it took 10 years to do that, the Olympics is kind of a one-off that comes every four years with so many variables. I really heavily valued that achievement [at Lake Louise].”

Emily says she will definitely continue her work with the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation, which aims to give Elk Valley children financial assistance to do any sport they want. The foundation’s annual golf tournament will take place this summer as always, and she hopes to have some extra time to help her mother Rosemary organize it this year.

She added: “The foundation is going to go for as long as people need it, and my mom can help manage it. This year we had to turn people down which shows there is a massive need for it so without a doubt we will keep it going.

“My name and my position won’t mean maybe as much but we have established the foundation’s aims now and word-of-mouth is really powerful so we will keep finding ways of raising money.”

On Wednesday Emily was recipient of the Sport BC 2009 Community Champion Award for her work with the foundation and other charities.

“It’s interesting – I’ve won Comeback of the Year, Junior Athlete of the Year – it’s really fitting for where I am at in my career and what I value, it’s really an honour, it makes me really happy that I have been recognized for that now.”

As for what happens next, Emily says she still isn’t ready to make any firm decisions.

“I have a couple of ideas in my mind, but I have tried not to get too far ahead of myself – I wanted to get to the end of my season before I put effort into something new.

“I hope to combine work and school in some capacity – that’s all I’m ready to say just now.”

For more great stories that ran in The Free Press in the past 115 years