To say Canadian ski crosser Brady Leman is a fierce competitor might be putting it lightly. He's the type of racer who expects to be first in every run, in every heat, in every competition, and also the type to occasionally show his disappointment when he doesn't live up to his own lofty standards.
Luckily for himself, Brady has the skill set to go along with his own expectations. Possessing an ideal combination of powerful starts, aggressive line selection, and canny maneouvering (watch him casually speed a check a jump mid race in order to set himself up for a line no other athlete has seen), Leman is a near-perfect combination of passion and technique.
A competitor on the World Cup ski cross tour since the 2008-09 season, Brady seemed to be just hitting his ski cross stride when he suffered the incredibly unlucky setback of a broken leg on the day before the ski cross event at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Brady missed more than a year of competition after his injury, but returned with a vengeance in 2011-12, winning the first race of the season and then again on home soil at Blue Mountain, CAN, on his way to finishing ranked second in the world behind only Slovenian Filip Flisar.
After that runner-up to the Crystal Globe performance in 2011-12 Leman took a bit of a step backwards in the 2012-13 season, managing just two podiums while often finding himself outside of the top-8 looking in.
In 2013/14 Leman peaked at just the right time, putting on a strong performance under pressure to make his way to the super final at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Unfortunately for him, he found himself stacked up against three of the strong French team. Pushed to the back by a French team working in unison, Leman attempted a last-ditch pass that lead to a fall and to him being shut out of the medals.
After finishing sixth 2014/15 on the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup overall standings, Leman stepped it up a notch in 2015/16 to emerge as one of the most consistent skiers on tour with six podiums in twelve events on the season and a final overall ranking of third. Throw in an 2016 X Games gold medal win and you've got a heck of a season for the 30 year old skier.
2016/17 would be by far the strongest season of Brady Leman's career, as the World Cup veteran battled with the elusive Jean Frederic Chapuis (FRA) in the race for the crystal globe. Finishing the season with seven podiums, including two victories that were his first since the 2011/12 season, Leman would finish just 42 points of Chapuis' pace at season end - a disappointment that will no doubt add fuel to his fire as move towards the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games this February.