Imagen
a female Para snowboarder

Brenna Huckaby

Snowboard
2

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
SB-LL1

Further personal information

Family
Husband Tristan Clegg, daughters Lilah [2016] and Sloan [2020]
Other names
Brenna Huckaby Clegg
Residence
Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English
Higher education
Business, Finance, Marketing - DeVry University: United States

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
Prior to the amputation of her leg she was a competitive gymnast. She was introduced to Para snowboarding in 2010/11 on a rehabilitation ski trip to Park City, UT, United States of America, which was organised by the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Why this sport?
"I'm from southern United States, with no snow or mountains, so I had to fly up north to Utah to have a chance to snowboard. The second I stepped off the plane I was in complete awe at these big beautiful mountains and this new life ahead of me. The second I strapped into my snowboard I was hooked. For the first time since my amputation I felt like myself again. I pretty much jumped into snowboarding like I did with gymnastics. I fell in love with it. I guess the spark I have for it made me such a better rider."
Club / Team
Team Utah Snowboarding: United States
Name of coach
Lane Clegg [father-in-law, personal], USA; Mike Jennings [national]; Alex Tuttle [national]
Training Regime
She trains for 30 hours each week.

General interest

Nicknames
Bren (Instagram profile, 19 Nov 2020)
Hobbies
Spending time with her family. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2022)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in LL1 snowboardcross at the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (Athlete, 06 Mar 2022)
Most influential person in career
Her parents. (theadvocate.com, 13 Aug 2017)
Hero / Idol
US snowboarder Kelly Clark. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Injuries
An ankle injury prevented her from competing at the 2019 Word Championships in Pyha, Finland. (paralympic.org, 29 Mar 2019)

She has suffered a broken hip during her career. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"One of the biggest lessons I have learned through sport wasn't from winning. It was in the moment when I crossed the finish line during my worst finish ever, I was reminded that life isn't about what place we get when we cross the finish line, but who we become in the process. It is through pain we can see what truly matters, and what matters is who we are and the purpose we have to offer." (LinkedIn profile, 01 Mar 2021)
Awards and honours
In 2018 she received the Best Female Athlete with a Disability Award at the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly [ESPY] awards ceremony in Los Angeles, CA, United States of America. (teamusa.org, 27 Dec 2018)

She was named the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] Americas Athlete of the Month for February 2018. (paralympic.org, 05 Mar 2018)

She received the 2017 Adaptive Athlete of the Year award from the US Ski and Snowboard Association [USSA]. (Athlete, 10 Feb 2018)
Famous relatives
Her father-in-law Lane Clegg has served as her coach. (thesnowpros.org, 05 Apr 2021)
Ambitions
Outside of sport, she hopes to become a special education teacher. (teamusa.org, 22 Jul 2020)
Impairment
In November 2010 her right leg was amputated above the knee due to osteosarcoma [bone cancer]. She completed nine months of chemotherapy to ensure the tumour was gone once her leg had been amputated. (steamboattoday.com, 04 Sep 2016, 23 Feb 2014)
Other information
BENEFITS OF SNOWBOARDING
She says that after she was declared cancer-free at age 15, she struggled with her mental health. She says Para snowboard helped her recover. "It should have been the best day of my life [being declared cancer-free]. But I was struck with the realisation that the life I had fought so hard for didn't exist. I didn't have friends, hope and dreams and I didn't have gymnastics, I didn't know who I was. It left me in a deep dark depression and I saw no way out. My family sat me down and said, 'Every time you lay down on the couch suffering you're letting cancer win. We want to help you get and live a life worth fighting for'. So I started gymnastics again but I just didn't have the love that I had for it before. So I tried other sports, but nothing gave me that drive and push that gymnastics did. After I was invited on a ski trip with my hospital I decided to learn how to snowboard as it reminded me of the balance beam. I would have done anything to feel like my old self again." After being introduced to Para snowboard, at age 17 she moved with her mother from Louisiana to Utah, United States of America, to further pursue the sport. "We had no idea that by the age of 22 I would be a two-time Paralympic gold medallist." (CBS News YouTube channel, 09 Nov 2020; brennahuckaby.wordpress.com, 01 Jan 2020)

BODY POSITIVE
She posed in Sports Illustrated magazine's swimsuit edition in 2018. "It was all about body positivity and showing the world how confident and how empowered I am, and that I can be strong and I can be beautiful, and I can be powerful in snowboarding, or as a mother, or in a swimsuit on the beach for everybody to see. Regardless of what you're going through, who you are, or what your body's like, you're a force, you're awesome, you're a boss. I wanted to show anybody out there who's dealing with something that they can overcome it and I wanted to be that role model for women with disabilities. Being featured in the Sports Illustrated magazine was far more powerful than I envisioned. I shot with them so I could be the example I didn't have while going through amputation. Once Sports Illustrated came out I noticed a ton of other brands using women with disabilities in their advertising and I couldn't be more proud. We are changing the world." (pyeongchang2018.com, 08 Mar 2018; paralympic.org, 01 Feb 2019)

MOTHERHOOD
She gave birth to her second daughter, Sloan, in January 2020. "Having two kids has been a lot harder than having one, which was a lot harder than having none. But honestly, they're my biggest motivation. Everything I do is for them. And that makes it easy. I've learned two things about being a full-time working mum. First, you can't do it alone. I need a village to be able to raise my kids and to have a career in snowboarding, and I'm super lucky to have people I trust to help out. Second, it's okay to ask for help, and to say no. If you can't do everything each day, like training a certain amount, it's not the end of the world to adapt and go with the flow of things." (thesnowpros.org, 05 Apr 2021; teamusa.org, 22 Jul 2020; theadvocate.com, 13 Aug 2017; paralympic.org, 06 Feb 2017, 29 Mar 2019; swimsuit.si.com, 26 Aug 2019; Instagram profile, 25 Jan 2020)

Results

Unit Date Rank
2015 IPCAS Para Snowboard World Championships La Molina (La Molina, Spain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Snowboard Cross SB-LL1 Race 1 2015-02-24 1
Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 Race 1 2015-02-28 2
2017 IPC Snowboard World Championships Big White, CAN (Big White, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Snowboard Cross SB-LL1 Race 1 2017-02-04 1
Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 Race 1 2017-02-07 1
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's Snowboard Cross SB-LL1 Final 2018-03-12 1
Women's Banked Slalom SB-LL1 Final 2018-03-16 1