At only 14-years old, Brian ‘Flyin Brian’ Rice Jr., is on track to become the first Black man to qualify for the U.S. snowboarding team in the upcoming Olympics. Yes, in 2020 we may now see the FIRST.
The Detroit teen started out in the sport at the tender age of four when his dad, Brian Sr., would coach him in the backyard. He fell in love with snowboarding and hasn’t looked back.
“Well, he was always self-motivated. Anytime you have a kid that really wants to practice on their own, you just want to support that,” Brian Rice Sr. said in a statement. “And so we started looking around for opportunities for him to take it to the next level.”
After going on to compete and win the all-around title of a major competition, Brain Jr. was asked to come train in Switzerland with other Olympic hopefuls.
“Everyone sees Brian as the most promising young athlete to be the first African American snowboarder in the Olympics,” said his mother, Kat Rice.
The teen has lots of support from not only his family and friends but the Jim Dandy Ski Club — which is said to be the country’s oldest Black skiing club.
“The biggest thing that kept me going with pursuing my dream was really taking the time to consider what I want to do as a life accomplishment. For me that’s snowboarding, having fun and hanging out with people I enjoy,” Brian said. “Just keep on pushing, never give up and hopefully you’ll make it to where you want to be.”
We’ll definitely be rooting for you, Flying Brian. Keep soaring, young man.