2000 Canadian Sport Awards
ALSO ON SLAM!
Make a list of the top-10 most courageous athletes in the history of sport, alpine skier Brian Stemmle of Aurora, Ont., would probably be on that list. He is certainly one of the bravest Canadians in recent memory.
Nearly killed in a spectacular crash in 1989 at Kitzbuehel, Austria, Stemmle has consistently overcome the dangers of his sport to place himself among the world's best. At the 1998 Olympic Games, with a prime time TV audience in the millions glued to their sets, Stemmle appeared headed to victory in the men's downhill. It would have been one of the greatest moments in Canadian sport had he won. Unfortunately one of his skis hit a rut and he veered off course.
The situation was crushing. But Stemmle displayed true leadership and served as an example to other athletes by doing his post race interviews and meeting and talking to fans without hesitation. It is obvious Stemmle understands that there are many invariables in sport that an athlete must accept. The biggest victory of all is stand up to those challenges. This understanding makes Stemmle a true champion.