PRECIOUS LEADER WOMAN
HAILING from the remote village of Alert Bay, B.C., Spencer O’Brien is a world-renowned snowboarder. In 2014, she was expected to win gold at the Sochi Olympics, but when she placed 12th, fans were shocked. What few people knew is that Spencer was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, hiding a debilitating pain that impacted her ability to compete.
After the defeat, she retreated to her hometown in traditional Kwakwaka’wakw territory. There, with the guidance of her family and close-knit community, she reconnected with her Indigenous culture, helping her regain the strength to reenter the sport and defy all odds.
The documentary PRECIOUS LEADER WOMAN invites us into Spencer’s world and gives us an intimate look at the determination and grit required to chase big dreams, revealing that our roots are often our biggest strength.
Photo by Chad Chomlack