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Super Bowl ad tells Calgary Paralympian's story of triumph

Calgarian and eight-time Paralympic gold medallist Lauren Woolstencroft's career was celebrated in the first advertisement after kickoff during Sunday's Super Bowl LII.

The eight-time Paralympic gold medallist's family gathered to watch the commercial's debut Sunday

Calgarian and eight-time Paralympic gold medallist Lauren Woolstencroft's career was celebrated in the first advertisement after kickoff during Sunday's Super Bowl LII. 0:43

Music swells. A nurse holds a newborn baby aloft. Onscreen, text shows her odds of winning a gold medal: one in 997,500,000. The camera pans down to show the little girl is missing her left arm below her elbow, and both legs below the knee.

But then, the girl is a toddler, and she's learning to walk. And run. And, as a four-year-old, ski. And dance ballet. The odds are rapidly ticking down.

Then, the odds are just one in 10. And then one, as a triumphant Lauren Woolstencroft skis across the finish line at the Paralympics.

The Calgarian and eight-time Paralympic gold medallist's career was celebrated in the first advertisement just after kickoff during Sunday's Super Bowl LII.

The Toyota ad, "Good Odds," was a part of a global ad campaign titled "Start Your Impossible."

"They saw a story of determination," said Woolstencroft.

"For them to have chosen a Paralympian, and a Canadian Paralympian ... I feel very honoured to be a part of it."

Woolstencroft said she was delighted with how much the company involved her in the process of the shoot, and worked hard to make sure they got her story right. 

Lauren Woolstencroft of Canada holds up her five gold medals that she won during the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games in Whistler, Saturday, March 20, 2010. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

The former alpine skier retired in 2010 with 10 Paralympic medals and more than 60 medals from other competitions.

She watched the commercial air with her 14-month-old son on her lap, her husband by her side, and other family members cheering her on.

Her parents, Mark and Dorothy Woolstencroft, said the commercial was an authentic portrayal of the determination and strength Lauren has displayed her entire life.

"It's certainly wonderful and it certainly brings back those memories," Mark said.

Lauren Woolstencroft gathered with her family to watch the debut of her commercial at Super Bowl LII on Sunday night. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Lauren's brother, Frank, said the one thing he took away from the commercial is how much hard work it took for his sister to get where she is today.

"I did cry the first time I saw it," he said. "The way I see it is it's more what you can do than what you can't do, and that's a good message for everybody."

"I think of the ability and not the disability."

Canadian Lauren Woolstencroft in action during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Paralympics in 2010. (Dominic Favre/The Associated Press)

With files from Terri Trembath