On September 22, 1989, Kim was a happily married mother of 2 (Jamie 8 years and Meaghan just 10 months). A career woman working as a Chief Executive Officer and a student about to begin part-time studies in a Masters Business program, Kim was training for her very first triathlon and was active in many other sports. Life Was Good!!! Then BOOM!!!! Kim says “I don’t remember the crash, but I have been told I was stopped behind a young driver who was waiting for a truck to go by when a lady driver plowed into the rear of my car and pushed me into the young driver’s car. She wasn’t drunk, but I was told she’d had alcohol on her breath.”
Kim’s head bent the steering wheel of her little Honda and she ended up with a variety of brain and physical injuries. “Life as I knew it was over – the Kim I knew died on that day. It was a very dark day when I was told I had to give up my career and go on a permanent disability pension.” For a while, Kim did not want to live any more, but says “After sitting in my car on the side of the road screaming and crying at God, I made a decision to do whatever I could to be the best with what I had left.“
Due to the brain injuries Kim had to re-learn how to walk and talk and was told she would never be able to swim, ride a bike or run again. She moved back to her hometown and started the gruelling rehab. Despite the medical prognosis, Kim had a burning determination to compete in her first triathlon before her 40th birthday in September of 1998. Kim remembers, “In July of 1998, 9 years after the crash, I competed in my first triathlon. I swam 1500 meters using one arm and one leg. Our team, # 409, came dead last, but we were the only one in the mixed team 120 years and over. We got gold!”
Over the years with the help of an amazing rehab team (especially those “physioterrorists”), Kim can swim using all limbs, no longer needs stabilizer wheels to ride, and uses a walker and foot brace to run. Last year, with the help of Pacific International Securities Inc. who sponsored her, Kim entered and finished 7 sprint triathlons.
Kim says, “I’m now a 46 year old, single mom on a permanent disability pension. My kids, both former Kids of Steel and one a retired international-level athlete, are now 24 and 16. They both help with my training and encourage my dream to do a half iron man before I turn 50. My life is filled with my kids, great friends, rehab, training, and doing a whole lot of educational and motivational talks. I think doing triathlons speaks louder than my words.”
Kim’s major goal for 2005 was to compete in the World Masters Games in Edmonton as an Athlete With A Disability (A.W.A.D.), however at one of her sprint races only a couple of weeks before the race, Kim crashed her bike, and with a broken elbow it looked like World Masters was out of the question.
We at Leaping Dog Racing would like to congratulate you, Kim, on your accomplishments, and thank you for your inspiration and for all the time you’ve spent volunteering with us. Way to go, Kim! We believe in you!