Hudak hauling home hardware

Brittany Hudak smiles and waves on the podium after receiving her bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea on Friday. -- Photo Courtesy of Rhonda Hudak/Instagram

Prince Albert’s Paralympian finishes 3rd in 12.5 km biathlon

Prince Albert’s Brittany Hudak has won a bronze medal at the 2018 Paralympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The 24-year-old cross-country skier solidified her spot on the podium Friday shortly after 12 noon, Korea Standard Time; she finished the 12.5 kilometre standing biathlon with a 41:20.7 finishing time.

Hudak missed no shots and therefore took no penalties in the four prone-position shooting portions of the race.

“(I) found myself lost for words at the end of the race today, realizing I had finished third and won my first ever Paralympic medal,” she said of the win in an online social media post.

“While I’ve dreamt of getting onto that podium at the Paralympic Winter Games, I was still amazed when it actually happened. All I was striving for was to go out and showcase the best of my abilities while wearing the maple leaf with pride.”

Neutral Paralympic Athletes Ekaterina Rumyantseva and Anna Milenina finished second and first, respectively, in the race. Their respective finishing times were 39:00.6 and 38:56.8.

Each of the two athletes missed two of their shots in the race’s shooting portions.

Of her team’s support, Hudak wrote in the online post that, “today I had the best support I could have asked for.

“(I) will be forever grateful to every person that has contributed to my ski career. I honestly can’t thank our entire team and staff enough for their hard work and dedication!”

Speaking with the Daily Herald on Friday, Hudak’s mother, Rhonda, said she’s “ecstatic” over her daughter’s win.

Brittany’s father, Dave, took to Facebook to share his comments. He noted how using the social media site is a rare thing for him.

Brittany Hudak, right, poses with her medal on the podium, along with Neutral Paralympic Athletes Ekaterina Rumyantseva, left, and Anna Milenina at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea on Friday. — Photo Courtesy of Rhonda Hudak/Instagram

“But in this case, I can’t help but tell you about my amazing daughter Brittany,” he wrote.

“To grow up with a disability and turn it into an opportunity sums up her character as a person. She has faced many challenges that most people take for granted and always does it with a positive attitude. The effect she has on people around her is truly inspiring!!”

He called his daughter his hero, someone who makes him want to be a better person.

“Through it all she amazes me at the woman she has become … fun-loving, adventurous, intelligent, determined. I just can’t put into words how proud my wife and I are of this truly amazing daughter of ours.”

The elder Hudak thanked his daughter’s supporters and teammates for helping her achieve her goals.

“I am certain this first medal at the Paralympics is just the first of many to come in here career!” he said.

Hudak’s final race will be at 11:50 a.m. on Saturday, KST; she competes in the 7.5 kilometre standing cross-country skiing race.