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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Time flies for Hudak at Paralympics

Time flies for Hudak at Paralympics
Brittany Hudak skis in the middle distance sitting biathlon event at the Zhangjiakou Biathlon Centre. --Photo from Paralympic.ca

Prince Albert’s Brittany Hudak wishes the Paralympics in Beijing could have lasted longer, and after winning two bronze medals over a 10-day stretch, it’s hard to blame her.

Hudak captured third place finishes in the 12.5 kilometre biathlon, as well as the 15 kilometre cross country event, filling her already impressive trophy case with more hardware.

“It’s crazy how fast the experience happens,” Hudak said. “We do so many races over those ten days, and there’s so much excitement. It’s almost weird to be back in the real world. Once the races started, the Games absolutely flew by. Now that I’m back home, I feel like I need more excitement in my life again.

“To come back with two bronze medals, I was really happy with that. Sometimes I wish maybe one of them was a different colour, but that just keeps me motivated for another four years. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I’m happy with my performances in China.”

This was the third Paralympics for Hudak, who also captured a bronze medal at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang. Much like her first two trips, Hudak said she was just excited to get out and start competing.

“My mindset going into these Games was just being looking forward to competing. After having a different last two years with COVID, and having competitions postponed, we haven’t really had a regular competition season. These Games really solidified for me just how much love competing and being on the road with the team. It’s such a great time and I really enjoy what I do. I think getting to China, it was kind of a sigh of relief, because the Paralympics were actually still able to go on.

“It was kind of an emotional roller coaster, because I was so happy to be there competing. You want to do your best, and it feels like it a been so long since we were able to compete. I was just super happy to be able to go over there. It’s a little bit of mixed emotions coming back. As this point, there’s been a lot of digesting everything, but I’m happy to be home, and looking forward to continuing on.”

Hudak saw a lot of areas of improvement in Beijing, whether it was her overall time in events or even the little things like how she moved her skis. She sees a lot of positive things from her overall performance, which gives her all the confidence she needs needing into future events, and even to the 2026 Paralympics.

“I think with every competition you gain more and more confidence,” she said. “What I saw at these Games, we just an overall improvement in my skiing. I think I’m at a really good place right now and I’m excited for what lies ahead.

“It makes in that much more fun and exciting when you see yourself improving. Earlier on in my career, I might be further down in the peck, and it’s just not as exciting as now, because I’m only matter of seconds behind instead of minutes behind the top athletes.”