Name: Spc. Joel Hunt
Military Branch: Army
Disability: Traumatic Brain Injury
Adaptive Sport: Alpine Skiing
Training Regimen: Trains full time with National Sports Center for the Disabled.
Competitions: Competed in the North American NorAm race circuit in the 2010 / 11 ski season; won a Bronze star at the Huntsman's Cup in Park City, Utah.p>
How did you get involved in adaptive sports: "When I came home I spent one year in a wheelchair feeling helpless. I was always the man that provided for my soldiers. And, now I had to swallow my pride and ask for help. When my parents came to take care of me they constantly motivated me by getting me out of the house. I was lucky because a lot of soldiers do not have that support system. I am from Kokomo, a small town in Indiana and I had never skied before in my life. What I didn't realize is that skiing would change my life. In February 2008, I started getting out of my wheelchair because of my dizziness and my blackouts due to overheating. Plus, I didn't have enough control in my legs due to numbness and I was on 15 different kinds of medications. At times, my speech was slurred and my thinking was so slow that people thought I was drunk.
Since I had PTSD and TBI, I never wanted to get out of the house. My parents forced me to go to BOEC TBI ski camp to give it a try. On December 17, 2008, I learned how to ski and was told that I was carving on the third day. I was then introduced to NSCD to learn to race camp which I did well on rec skis. My best friend told me to check out CAF Operation Rebound and because of them and Disabled Sports USA's (DS / USA) efforts, I was able to compete that next year."
How adaptive sports changed your life: "Today, I am only on three different medications (down from 15) because of skiing. I have had the same coaches for the last three years and they have seen fast and unbelievable changes in me with my TBI."
Joel participates in sports for: Fun, health and fitness and competition.
Fun fact: My biggest goal is to be the best skier in the world.