Spencer O’Brien grew up in Courtenay, BC, and now resides in North Vancouver.
Her life long dream of competing in the Olympics cam true in 2014 when the multi X Games medallist made it through to the finals but fell in two of her three runs finishing last.
However, although she had been a hopeful for a medal, the rider descending of Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw (bands of Canada’s First Nations people) had never felt so good before for quite a while.
After learning to snowboard at the age of 11 because her sister had started it and struggling with this winter sport, she sticked to it as it was humbling and challenging. Actually it was the first sport she was bad at but fell in love with.
A few years later, she was debuting at the X Games in 2007, won the 2011 world championships gold in slopestyle and several X Games medals before competing in her first World Cup in January 2013 at Copper Mtn.
But back then, she was already fighting a fight she thought she could not win.
In the 2012/13 season, O'Brien felt swollen and heavy like a 25-year-old in a body of a 90-year-old - every moring. A few months later, in November 2013, when the symptoms didn't stop, she finally got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, just a few months prior to the 2014 Schi Olympic Winter Games.
Although she finally knew what illness she was facing, she kept it a secret because she didn't wanted to be labeled as the snowboarder with RA.
But since 2017 and being on a fruitful medication, she opened her heart revealing her health struggles in several interview in order to inspire others dealing with the same disease.
In addition, she is back on track chasing her dream of an Olympic medal.