Brittany Hudak, nordic skier

Cross-country skier Brittany Hudak in Sochi ahead of the 2014 Paralympic Games, which begin Friday, March 7. (Matthew Murnaghan/Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Brittany Hudak, 20, was introduced to cross-country skiing by none other than legendary Paralympian and Sochi Games teammate Colette Bourgonje. Hudak was an 18-year-old employee at a Canadian Tire store in her hometown of Prince Albert, Sask., when Bourgonje introduced herself and provided information to Hudak on the sport.

Hudak, who was born missing part of her left arm, was an active person involved in dancing, track and field, basketball and badminton but was still looking for her niche sport. Hudak immediately enjoyed the challenges of cross-country skiing.

In her IPC World Cup debut in December 2013, at Canmore, Alta., Hudak was the top Canadian, placing fourth in the five-kilometre women’s standing, race which qualified her for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games. She had been competing domestically for only a year. She was just off the pace of Russian gold medallist Alena Kaufman.

Off the ski trails, Hudak is working towards her social work degree at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology.

Courtesy of the Canadian Paralympic Committee