Brain Injury and Snowboarding: The Crash Reel


Let us take a moment and shift from American Football (thus show) to bring you information about head injuries in other sports.  We have commented before that is not a certain sport problem, rather a societal problem.  Concussions and brain injury occur in every aspect of life, there is no way everyone can be placed in a bubble.

Professional Snowboarder and one time Olympic hopeful, Kevin Pearce, had his bout and run-in with the dangers of any sport.  It will be portrayed in a documentary called “The Crash Reel“;

An escalating rivalry between Kevin and his nemesis Shaun White in the run-up to the 2010 Olympics leaves Shaun on top of the Olympic podium and Kevin in a coma following a training accident in Park City, Utah.  Kevin’s tight-knit Vermont family flies to his side and helps him rebuild his life as a brain injury survivor.  But when he insists he wants to return to the sport he still loves, his family intervenes with his eloquent brother David speaking for all of them when he says, “I just don’t want you to die.” Kevin’s doctors caution him that even a small blow to the head could be enough to kill him. Will Kevin defy them and insist on pursuing his passion?  With his now impaired skills, what other options does he have?  How much risk is too much?

The film is set to release this week and judging from the trailer (seen below) it may be worth watching as we get to see many things;

Watching from the injury to his comeback it will be important to look at how his caregivers (family mainly) deal with the struggles of a high-level “professional” athlete trying to do what he wants to do.  It will also give us a glimpse into the mindset of a professional athlete and why they choose to take the risks they do.  No one should overlook the sacrifices and how hard it is for one to recover from serious brain injury.  Good luck to Kevin and his endeavors.

h/t Broken Brilliant

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4 thoughts on “Brain Injury and Snowboarding: The Crash Reel

  1. PinkConcussions.com (@PinkConcussions) December 10, 2013 / 14:28

    I have the great honor of hosting the NYC screening of ‘The Crash Reel’ this weekend on Saturday night, January 14, 2013. The screening will be at 8:05 PM.

    I first saw Lucy Walker’s film about Kevin Pearce’s brain injury at a special HBO screening in July, while I was in the middle of chemo. Watching Kevin’s journey was so inspiring to me initially because of my experiences with head injury as athlete, and also, as a mother of a son with multiple head injuries. While the stories/injuries are not the same, many feelings and challenges of the Pearce family mirrored my own struggles as a parent of a child with head injuries.

    But what has surprised me the most about the film is the deep, long-lasting message about surviving and healing after tragedy. And in six months as I have moved from cancer patient to survivor, I still find myself thinking about lessons/moments/situations in the movie on a daily basis. I have learned both personally & professionally from this amazing film, and am inspired by Kevin to face my struggle to return to my new “normal.”

    “The Crash Reel” is not the typical “Disease of the Week” movie with a Hollywood ending, but a rather poignant look at how real people make their way in life find to their new “normal.”

    • Dustin Fink December 10, 2013 / 17:17

      Would live to! I have some basketball games to cover. Any chance you have a screener?

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