Chat with Kelly Brush
Brush was a rising star as a collegiate skiier at Middlebury College. She was a member of the Class of 2008 and excelling on the slopes. However, at a race in February 2006, during her sophomore year, Brush entered the Williams College Winter Carnival in Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts. During the race, she hit an icy patch on the slope and fell. As a result of the fall, she is paralyzed from the waist down.
Since the fall, Brush has set up the Kelly Brush Foundation, which is dedicated to safety in skiing, spinal cord injury (SCI) research, purchasing adaptive sports equipment for individuals with SCI and supporting the U.S. Adaptive Ski Team.
Brush will share her story as a part of Women's History Month.
Send in your questions now, then join Brush on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Ralph (New Jersey)
Who would you say taught you the most about ski racing?
Kelly Brush (2:03 PM)
I would say my mom taught me the most. She was such a big role model for me as a kid growing up. She was in the 1976 Olympics and that's what got me into skiing. She been there for me from the beginning.
If you could ski anywhere where would you ski?
Kelly Brush (2:07 PM)
Wow, good question! I would want to ski in Kitzbuhel, Austria. I skied there once in high school and it was unbelievable.
Do you compete in or play any other sports besides skiing now?
Kelly Brush (2:09 PM)
I play a lot of other sports outside of skiing. Biking and golf are two of my favorites. I do an annual 100 mile bike ride every year for my foundation which I bike 25 miles.
Patrick Standen, Burlington, Vermont
Keep up the great work, Kelly! Could you speak to how helpful sports were to your recovery and rehabilitation?
Kelly Brush (2:11 PM)
Before I got hurt people always asked me what I liked to do for fun and I always said playing sports. After I got hurt, things were a little different but then I realized that I can still play sports but in a different way and I became okay with that.
Hi Kelly, I am a parapelgic as well in fact i received a handcycle through your foundation. i love it and use it all the time, weather permitting. I also golf and have a solorider cart. i was also looking into the paramobile and the salesman told me you had one. Do you like it? How often do you golf?
Kelly Brush (2:15 PM)
I love my paramobile! I was about to buy a solorider but I found another one that fit me better. The paramobile is geared more towards people who can't walk where as the solorider is geared towards people that have a hard time walking but still can standup and walk. As far as golfing, I try to get out there about once a week.
Kelly Brush (2:15 PM)
Congratulations on the handcyle! I'm glad you love it!
Eric, Manchester, VT
Thanks Kelly for your work advicating skiing safety and increasing awareness of Spinal Cord Injury. I received a Tennis Wheelchair through the KBF and I'm proud to use it. Looking forward to riding my handcycle in the Kelly Brush Century on September 12th.
Kelly Brush (2:18 PM)
That's awesome, I'm glad you like the wheelchair! I know the Kelly Brush Century in Middlebury, VT will be a great event this year!
Does your foundation (Kelly Brush Foundation) sponsor any events? How can I find out more about it?
Kelly Brush (2:19 PM)
We don't sponsor any events but we do donate money to ski areas and clubs to promote ski safety. You can find out more about what we do at www.kellybrushfoundation.org.
Most people would only be able to see the negatives about being paralyzed. What are a few positive aspects about being in a wheelchair?
Kelly Brush (2:22 PM)
To start with, I get great parking right up front. I can get tickets to concert and sporting events at the last minute because they usually have handicap seating open. And when I go skiing, I need a buddy pass and because of that I can have one person come skiing for free with me. There is tons of cool stuff that I can do but it's not that much different from anyone else.
Was working for ESPN your dream job?
Kelly Brush (2:24 PM)
Laughing ...not really. It's a dream job but it wasn't my dream job. I always watched ESPN and one day a friend of mine said that they knew someone that worked here and I thought to myself "wow that would be a great job" and here I am.
Kelly Brush (2:25 PM)
Thank you to everybody for all your support. I would have never been able to get through everything if it wasn't for family and friends. Thanks for all the great questions and be sure to visit http://www.kellybrushfoundation.org/.
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