top of page

Going for Gold: Rod Crane's Path to The Paralympics

four men in red Team Canada uniforms are on the ice playing sledge hockey
Rod Crane (#2) hopes to complete the long drive, filled with twists and turns, to reach his goals of representing Canada at the Paralympics.

The path to success is not linear. The path will shift, you will change, and your wants will evolve with your needs. Sometimes, it can feel like you’re standing still. Other times, it can feel like an endless journey. We fear looking back, wanting to leave everything behind us as we go.

To fully appreciate how far you’ve come, you need to look back. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that the future is uncertain and not always in our control. You have two options: to fear it or to embrace it.

For Rod Crane, a member of Team Canada’s sledge hockey team, a chance accident in 2010 changed his life completely. A backflip on a trampoline caused a spinal cord injury, resulting in incomplete paraplegia. His path changed, and Rod adapted, leading him to reach new heights.

Before his accident, Crane wanted to go to post-secondary school and work a 9-5. Though he was active and a sports fan growing up, being an athlete was never his goal. After his injury, he realized quickly that, from there on out, his life would be different from the traditional life he envisioned.

“It was the most alone I’ve ever felt.” Said Crane, reminiscing on the time after his accident. “I was feeling isolated because [at the time] I was the only one going through that.”

When he came home from his rehabilitation, his friends and family hosted a welcoming party. Despite being surrounded by people who cared about him, Crane recalls feeling miserable. His mindset wasn’t in a good place, and he felt like all he was getting was sympathy from those around him.