Former Hay Riverite Michelle Brodeur knows a thing or two about how to manipulate snow.
She grew up around lots of it, and she’s proven that familiarity this year with a silver medal at the U.S. Grand Prix Snowboardcross NorAm Cup on March 3 in Utah.
“The Grand Prix was great. I finally felt that I was back in the mindset for competing,” she said. “I’m really happy about getting second. It would have been nice to be out in front for a while because I definitely feel like I could have gone faster. But getting second was great.”
“It was a good day for Michelle,” said snowboardcross coach Rene Brunner. “It was her best result so far this year for an international event. It was really nice for her.”
However, later at the event in Utah, she tore her ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and is scheduled for surgery this week.
Joking about how she wants doctors to transplant mountain lion ligaments into her knee, the young athlete seems unfazed.
There are upcoming snowboardcross events that Brodeur will not be attending because of her injuries. But in talking about her upcoming plans, the 24-year-old is hopeful. She is moving to Vancouver from May to September to train before three Olympic-qualifying World Cup events later this year.
“I’m going to rent out a place and train and get as strong as possible,” she said.
Brodeur was born in Hay River and lived in the community for many years.
She moved south to compete and train, and now lives in Springbank, Alta.
Prior to the Utah event, Brodeur had returned from a whirlwind of back-to-back World Cup competitions in late February at Blue Mountain, Ont., and Sochi, Russia, where she competed with other athletes at the Olympics test site.
She experienced a concussion early in 2013 that took her away from competition for almost a month.
— Angele Cano