Airdronian Ryan Straschnitzki has his sights set on the 2026 Paralympics.
Straschnitzki, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, has made progress in his recovery since having surgery in 2019 and hopes to play for Canada's para hockey team at the 2026 Paralympics.
These past few months for Staschnitzki have been busy, as he has been training every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, doing physiotherapy, and finishing his course on accessibility architecture while working on his new foundation, The Straz Strong Foundation. In the gym training with Olympic and Paralympic athletes to hopefully make the sled hockey national team by 2026.
"The foundation aims to give back to those with both mental and physical disabilities through adaptive sport and social awareness. We're still starting off, so we're looking for a way to raise some funds to give back to the community."
"Before my accident, hockey gave so much to me and the community around me and some of my best and most influential life experiences have come from hockey. After the accident, I realized standup wasn't an option and sled hockey was next. Four months after the accident, I was fortunate enough to get on the ice and from there I decided I'm going to see how far I can take this."
Straschnitzki hopes people can watch the journey and realize that no matter the situation that they're in, they're more than capable of reaching their goals.
"There's a lot of skilled guys on the team [Canada's para hockey team] and with my specific disability, it's probably a lot harder to make the team because you're playing against amputees. But I'm going to continue training and putting in as much work as I can and hopefully the coaches see that within me and feel like I can contribute to the team."
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