FIFA's World Cup drew in viewers throughout the world. The United States team did well this year, making it further than their last appearance in the soccer tournament. Although the sport appears to be gaining popularity, it is receiving some criticism for its handling of brain injuries during the competition.
Media attention throughout the country is increasing public awareness of the dangers of traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs. However, these reports can be misleading as they tend to focus on football players and other professional athletes. Although professional athletes are at risk for these injuries, the average person can also fall victim to a life changing head trauma.
Last January, US Representative Gabrielle Giffords was attacked by a gunman while speaking to constituents in Tucson, Arizona. The tragic incident left Representative Giffords with a severe brain injury and injured 20 bystanders, six of whom died from gunshot wounds.
Brain injuries can occur for a number of reasons. Maybe an individual was a victim in a traumatic car accident. Perhaps, they were knocked from their motorcycle and fell on their head. For Kevin Pearce, his brain injury occurred while attempting an extremely difficult snowboarding trick during the ramp-up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.