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27010-Kevin Brousard photo

Kevin Brousard

Athletics

Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T12, F12

Further personal information

Family
Partner Megann Karch
Residence
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Finance, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English, Spanish
Higher education
Communications, Journalism/Broadcasting - University of La Verne: United States

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics in high school.
Why this sport?
He was bullied as a child and called 'the blind kid' or 'subhuman' and told his parents that he wanted to end his own life at age nine. His family were involved in sport and he decided to take up athletics at high school to make friends. "When I got to high school, I got really nervous. I was afraid that bullies would latch on to me again, so I decided to join the sports team to make some more friends and insert myself in the social scene. I decided to join the track and field team and throw the shot put and discus. Sports were the great equaliser. Sports were the thing that everyone can connect and relate to."
Training Regime
He trains at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, United States of America.

General interest

Hobbies
Public speaking, volunteer work. (Instagram athlete, 09 Aug 2019; teamusa.org, 01 Jan 2017)
Most influential person in career
His high school coach. (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 12 Dec 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Enable the disabled. I truly believe that every single one of us humans has an innate urge to help others and leave a lasting impact on this world." (TEDx Talks YouTube channel, 12 Dec 2016)
Awards and honours
He was the flag bearer for the United States of America at the 2015 International Blind Sports Federation [IBSA] World Games in Seoul, Republic of Korea. (Instagram profile, 07 Aug 2020)
Other sports
He has represented the United States of America in Para judo and placed 13th in the +100kg event at the 2018 World Championships in Odivelas, Portugal. (SportsDeskOnline, 14 Dec 2019; usaba.org, 01 Jan 2019)
Famous relatives
His father Michael competed in swimming and water polo at the University of California, Los Angeles in United States of America. His youngest brother Dominic played volleyball at the University of California, Los Angeles. (sanclementetimes.com, 21 Sep 2017)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (Facebook profile, 26 May 2019; usaba.org, 01 Jan 2019)
Impairment
He was born with Stargardt disease, a condition which causes progressive degeneration of the retina. "My earliest memory was in kindergarten when I was six inches from the board and couldn't read what it said. Doctors were unable to diagnose my condition until I was 15 years old." (teamusa.org, 01 Jan 2017)
Other information
ATHLETICS TO JUDO AND BACK
After his Para athletics classification was removed from the programme for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he made the decision to switch sports and began training in Para judo. He started training in Para judo at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from November 2015 and placed 13th in the +100kg event at the 2018 World Championships in Odivelas, Portugal. In December 2018, he learned that he was eligible again to compete in Para athletics and decided to return to the sport. "After the 2015 [IBSA] World Championships in [Republic of] Korea, I made one of the hardest decisions in my life. I decided to stop competing in track and field and instead focus on the sport of judo. I was watching judo in the stands when I was introduced to [US judoka] Ed Liddie. I was excited when Ed invited me to test out judo at the national training centre. That was my first time trying judo or any form of mixed martial arts. I figured with my size and athleticism I could get pretty good at judo. Towards the end of 2018, I received a good news/bad news combination. The bad news, my vision had slowly been decreasing over the past few years. The good news, my decreased vision made me eligible to compete again in track and field with the goal of representing Team USA at the 2020 Paralympic Games. I made the decision to forgo my judo career and pursue track and field, specifically in the shot put." (Facebook profile, 26 May 2019; teamusa.org, 01 Jan 2017; Kevin Brousard YouTube channel, 31 Jan 2016)

OCCUPATION
He works as a programmes and finance manager for the United States Association of Blind Athletes [USABA] in Colorado Springs, CO, United States of America. The job entails overseeing the implementation and development of USABA programmes in eight different sports and the growth of grassroots programmes that address health issues in the visually impaired community. He is also a motivational speaker and works as a US Soccer Disability Soccer Committee member. (LinkedIn profile, 22 Dec 2020; Facebook page, 09 Sep 2020; Facebook profile, 30 Nov 2019; usaba.org, 01 Jan 2019)