Gravenhurst snowboarder Liam Brearley is preparing to compete in Switzerland fresh off a top ten win at the World Cup big air event in Austria on Jan. 9.
Brearley placed seventh in the opening World Cup big air competition of the season while fellow Canadian Max Parrot took gold. Though young, Brearley has already proven his skills by winning bronze at a World Cup event in Calgary and making history as the first Canadian to win three medals at a Winter Youth Olympic Games. Despite his past successes, the 17-year-old didn’t expect to do as well as he did at the big air competition in Kreischberg, Austria.
“I had no expectations of making finals or coming that high in the rankings at all,” Brearley said. “When I went into it, it was kind of the mindset of just give it all I’ve got in qualifiers because I didn’t really think that I was going to make it too far based on the field this year since it’s an Olympic Qualifying year as well. And so I came out swinging, and it ended up working out.”
Though plans for the rest of the season are up in the air, the next competition for Brearley is a slopestyle event in Switzerland on Jan. 22. The competition is more intense and the stakes are higher being that it’s an Olympic qualifying year, but Brearley said he feels confident about what he can do heading into the event.
“The field is going to be a lot heavier and this event in particular, the Laax Open, is one of the biggest World Cup events that there is every year,” he said. “I’m a little more nervous than I might be if it was a normal World Cup and normal year, but I’m pretty excited to compete with all the people that I’ve been looking up to since I was young.”