Spence’s story is one of great perseverance, having fought back from a career-threatening injury suffered in a crash just before the 2006 Olympics. The Calgary, Alta., native, a graduate of the city's National Sports School, enjoyed early success as a speed skier before becoming a slalom specialist. In 2012, Spence made headlines throughout Europe and North America when he helped make an eight-year-old fan’s dream of becoming his headgear sponsor come true at a World Cup race in Wengen, Switzerland. Spence grew up on a ranch near Calgary and is proud of his Western roots. When he's not ski racing, he enjoys boating, fishing and horseback riding.
Canadian champion - Giant slalom (2010)
12th – Slalom – FIS World Cup – Kitzbuhel, Austria (2010)
4th – Super-G – FIS Junior World Ski Championships (2004)
|Ski club:||NATC / Panorama Ski Club|
|Sponsor:||EllisDon, Kidco, McElhanney, Crescent Point Energy Corp.|
Nicknames: Bradd, Spencey.
First memory of skiing: Competing for Canada at Trofeo Topolino when I was 14. It was my first time competing in Europe, and I walked away with a second-place finish in the giant slalom, and third place in the slalom.
Best moment in ski racing: Finishing 12th in Kitzbuhel, Austria, during the 2009-10 season. It was my second top-12 season, which secured my spot for the 2010 OWGs.
Worst moment in ski racing: My accident during the downhill in Bormio, Italy, in 2005. I broke my tib/fib, tore my ACL/MCL, etc.
What is your Olympic dream? Like everyone, to stand on top of the Olympic podium. More honestly, if I can walk away knowing that I put together the two best runs I could on that day, I’d be happy with whatever result prevailed.
What is the best thing about having the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia? Having never been, it’s tough to say. But because of that answer, I’d probably say that I will get to go to a new country and experience a new, and rather different, culture.
If you could listen to one song before leaving the start gate, what would it be? That is a question that will forever be changing. In the past I’ve gravitated towards mixes put together by Smalltown DJs out of Calgary. I’m a big fan of theirs and often find myself getting pumped up to some of the mixes they put out.
If you could bring any three people in the world - living or from the past - to one of your races, who would they be? Gage Ferguson, because having him and his family in Wengen, Switzerland, was an unforgettable memory. His excitement was truly contagious. Glenn Thomsen (Ben Thomsen’s dad), who was one of my coaches early on in my career and probably one of the more influential people I’ve had the pleasure of working with during my career as a ski racer. Last but not least, my parents, because they had to sacrifice so much to help me achieve what I have in sport. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Hidden talent: I have an unreal ability to recognize and distinguish different English accents. I also spend a lot of time in a yoga studio, and used to play the piano – something that I regret giving up.
If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it? For breakfast I’d find the biggest raspberry field in the world and eat as many of those delicious morsels as I could. After that I’d kidnap a dog (ideally a Weimaraner) and I’d get into a Lamborghini and drive as fast as I could out to mountains west of Calgary. I’d find a hike that would take me up to a high alpine meadow and I’d hang out there for a few hours enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. I’d then use a teleporter to make a stop in Tuscany, Italy, to drink a really expensive bottle of Brunello, and then I’d use the teleporter to end up in Bora Bora, where I’d find paradise on a deserted beach.
If you could own a business or be trained in any career other than ski racing, what would you choose? I’ve got a very inquisitive mind, and I’m always looking to invent something or to transform an existing idea into something better. I’d love to have some sort of a think-tank business where I could work with like-minded people. Alternatively, I always thought it would be really cool to be an architect and build high-end sustainable homes.
When I’m not skiing, you can probably find me: cooking, eating, in a yoga studio, or at my cabin in Windermere, B.C.
What’s the best thing about your hometown? It still has a very small-town feel. Calgarians are very friendly and down-to-earth. The Calgary Stampede is also pretty fun.
Name the most surprising thing in your suitcase when you’re on the road: My elaborate loose tea collection and paraphernalia (as I write this I’m drinking a licorice peppermint tea from CommuniTEA in Canmore, Alta.).
Describe your favourite thing to eat or drink during race season: Tiramisu in Italy. It is my all-time favourite dessert and having it in Italy never disappoints.
If you could design your own World Cup spot anywhere in the world, where would it be? I love skiing in the Canadian Rockies, so I’d want it to be somewhere in the Rockies to showcase to the world what a beautiful place we live in. In a perfect world I’d say Panorama, B.C., because that is the hill I grew up skiing on.
Where is your favourite place to race or train? Favourite race is Kitzbuhel, Austria. I love the energy at the venue and how technically demanding the hill is. Favourite place to train is Panorama, B.C., because it feels like home to me.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? I’d want to be able to heal myself instantly. Having dealt with such a long string of injuries, I’d love to be able to push myself day after day without pain holding me back.
If you could build your dream home anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’m a homebody and it would be tough to get me away from Calgary and the Rocky Mountains.
What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a teammate do while on the road? Watching Trevor White play his guitar in the bathtub (don’t worry, it wasn’t full and he wasn’t naked) because the bathroom had the best acoustics in the house.
Who is someone you admire in sport? Thomas Grandi. Not only was he my idol growing up, but he was such a trailblazer for technical skiers in Canada. I’ve always admired his work ethic and his outlook on life.
Finishes in the top 20
17th – Slalom – Bansko, BUL (Feb. 2012)
17th – Slalom – Schladming, AUT (Jan. 2012)
14th – Slalom – Kitzbuehel, AUT (Jan. 2012)
17th – Slalom – Adelboden, SUI (Jan. 2012)
15th – Slalom – Beaver Creek, USA (Dec. 2011)
14th – Slalom – Kitzbuehel, AUT (Jan. 2011)
13th – Slalom – Wengen, SUI (Jan. 2011)
17th – Slalom – Adelboden, SUI (Jan. 2011)
16th – Slalom – Levi, FIN (Nov. 2010)
18th – Slalom – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER (March 2010)
12th – Slalom – Kitzbuehel, AUT (Jan. 2010)
19th – Slalom – Wengen, SUI (Jan. 2010)
12th – Slalom – Alta Badia, ITA (Dec. 2009)
13th – Slalom – Kranjska Gora, SLO (March 2009)
2010 Olympic Winter Games – Vancouver, B.C.
42nd – Giant slalom
Canadian champion – Giant slalom – Nakiska, Alta. (March 2010)
FIS World Ski Championships
38th – Slalom – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER (Feb. 2011)
Slalom men’s champion (2009)
Giant slalom men’s champion (2009)