A one-day weather postponement at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Canadian snowboarder Liam Brearley and his family.
Liam’s mother, Janice, was in tears when her flight from Canada to Switzerland was delayed by more than a day. Accompanied by his sister and grandmother, she feared they would not make it in time to see 16-year-old Liam compete in the men’s slopestyle event on Sunday.
The family’s journey started in Toronto but, due to a mechanical failure on the first aircraft, they had to fly to Montreal, where their flight was delayed by 26 hours.
Little did the family know that Liam’s event was being postponed until Monday due to high winds at the venue in Leysin.
“When I got off the plane on Sunday I still did not know it was postponed,’’ Janice Brearley said. “We thought we had missed it.”
Watch Liam Brearley's run from earlier today that won 🥈 for #TeamCanada in 🏂 slopestyle 💪— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) January 21, 2020
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The family arrived in time to watch Liam not only compete but claim the silver medal.
“We made it and this is so awesome,” Janice said after handing her son a Canadian flag in the finish area. “We are thrilled. My heart is beating out of my chest. It is amazing. It was just nerve wrecking. I am so proud.”
Liam was overjoyed to see his family after reaching the podium with 85.33 points, behind gold medallist Dusty Henricksen (USA) with 96.33 points.
“I was glad when it got cancelled so my family could be here to watch me,” he said. “There is no better feeling than seeing them cheer me on. It ended up being an advantage that it was cancelled yesterday.”
Equally swept up in the moment was Liam’s 70-year-old grandmother, Beth Brescacin, who bought him his first snowboard when he was seven years old.
“This is my first trip across the pond and it could not have been any better,” she said. “It was definitely worth it. Every penny. I am delirious.”