Brenna Huckaby competes during the women's snowboardcross SB-LL2 qualification during the Paralympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on March 6, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
Ask most athletes about their goals for the Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing, and they might mention medals and podium appearances. Despite her success, Para snowboarder Brenna Huckaby is setting her personal goals for the Games in a different way.
After placing second in the qualification runs for women’s snowboard cross SB-LL2 Sunday at Genting Snow Park in Zhangjiakou, China, Huckaby offered an interesting perspective.
“My goals here are to stay present and be in the moment,” Huckaby said. “The future will take care of itself.
“I’m going to show up, give it my all, give it my best, and wherever I end is where I end.”
Huckaby, the defending gold medalist in snowboardcross and banked slalom, ended up among the top 16 headed into Monday’s quarterfinals. She was one of nine American athletes across four classifications to qualify for the finals. The U.S. has dominated snowboarding since it was introduced to the Games in 2014.
In snowboardcross, riders open with a time trial round before facing off in head-to-head heats.
Disqualified in the first round, Huckaby gathered herself and turned in a time of 1 minute, 11.13 seconds in the second and final round on the course, which has 28 features — jumps, banked turns and drops — over 1,130 meters with a vertical drop of 139 meters.
“My first run, I gave it 100 percent,” said Huckaby, originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, “and I had a lot more speed than I thought I was going to, and I didn’t make the moves to handle it.
“It’s just feedback. Today’s not winning a medal, just figuring out what could happen tomorrow.”