On New Year’s Eve 2009 Olympic-bound snowboarder Kevin Pearce hit a halfpipe face-first while practicing a so-called double-cork trick in Park City, Utah. As with many traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims, Pearce’s life has never been the same since.
On Monday, July 15, HBO will air a documentary on Pearce’s recovery, and his new life’s mission, called “The Crash Reel.” It tells the story of Pearce’s accident, which almost cost him his life, and his realization that his days as a snowboarding champ were over.
A story in the Denver Post talked about the documentary and Pearce’s cause: Promoting helmets and safety and helping those who have suffered brain injury. He is especially positioning himself as a role model for young kids, encouraging them to wear helmets when they snowboard or skate. Pearce, by the way, had a helmet on when had his accident.
The documentary chronicles Pearce’s slow and difficult recovery, and shows him three months after his crash struggling to “walk and talk” while in rehab at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo., according to the Post.
Pearce’s family and doctor warn him about the danger of returning to his sport, with the admonition that that a second TBI would be disastrous, the Post reported.
Pearce’s work promoting brain safety is admirable, and I’d wager his work will spare many young athletes the ordeal of brain injury.