Former Olympic Hopeful Offers Inspiration for Others With Traumatic Brain Injury
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Kevin Pearce was at the top of his sport as a world-class professional snowboarder in 2009 when he sustained a traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The now 28-year-old Pearce's road to recovery has brought to light his potential to transform the experience of traumatic brain injury (TBI) into a source of inspiration, education and awareness.
He will share his story at Champlain College on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Champlain Room of the Center for Communication and Creative Media at 375 Maple St.. The talk is presented by the Champlain Ski & Ride Club and the LoveYourBrain Foundation. The talk is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and seating is first-come, first served.
"Ski and Ride's interest in having Kevin speak to the club is in recognition of the importance of helmet use within action sports along with brain health in the college environment," explained Holden Barth of the Ski and Ride Club. "Last November, the club's annual Rail Jam raised $300 for the LoveYourBrain Foundation."
Using the visibility generated from his success as a professional snowboarder, the international acclaim achieved by his award-winning HBO Documentary "The Crash Reel" and his subsequent public speaking platform, Pearce co-founded a movement called "LoveYourBrain."
Together with his brother Adam, they have created the LoveYourBrain Foundation, a non-profit organization that is working to connect, educate and empower people to live a brain healthy lifestyle. Through yoga, meditation and mindfulness programs, LoveYourBrain is improving lives, creating community and optimizing health for everyone they reach.
Kevin Pearce will talk about being a 22-year-old Olympic hopeful and one of America's top snowboarders when on Dec. 31, 2009, just weeks before the Vancouver Olympics, he suffered a traumatic head injury while practicing on a halfpipe course in Park CIty, Utah.
In an instant, Pearce went from snowboarding superstar to brain injury victim. After weeks in critical care, he was moved to a rehabilitation center where he began the long and painful road to recovery with his family in Norwich, Vt.
His story has been told in the documentary "The Crash Reel," a film that chronicled the epic rivalry between Pearce and Olympian Shaun White and the aftermath and recovery efforts following Pearce's injury. The film also showcases the Pearce family, including Kevin's father glass-blower Simon Pearce and Kevin's brother David C. Pearce who describes his struggle to accept his Down Syndrome.
Despite being told he might never snowboard again, today Pearce is back on his snowboard, works as a sports commentator, motivational speaker and continues to expand the reach of LoveYourBrain.
Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain College is featured in the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" for 2016 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. For more information, visitwww.champlain.edu.