Barksdale Air Force Base- When three-time ESPN Winter XGames Silver Medalist Erin Simmons Nemec went to the 2006 Winter Olympics and cranked out one of the world’s best training runs on the snowboard boarder cross course during the 2006 Torino Italy Winter Olympic Games it was no surprise... she was one of the best in the World.
What did shock her was her teammates response... instead of high fives and back slaps, they turned their backs on her. “Right then and there... just days before the Olympic competition, during what was suppose to be one of the greatest athletic moments of my life, I realized that I should have gone into team sports.” recalls Nemec, now a mother of two and wife of retired US Snowboard Coach Kevin ‘Cactus’ Nemec, adding “It wrecked me mentally and emotionally, I was never able to bounce back during the Winter Games and it ultimately lead to me moving to America to train and be supported by individuals who would have my back.”
The move brought the Canadian to a team that accepted her and made room for her both physically and emotionally. It also opened a personal door into Nemec’s ‘life closet’ that revealed to her who her true supporters were. “I was so wrapped up in the doing... that I didn’t take enough stock in the done... embraced those who I could really trust, were there for me and I for them... when I started training with the American’s and strengthening my buddy system, I realized just how alone I had been with the Canadian Olympic Team.”
Simmons Nemec is visiting Air Force Global Strike Command bases this week as part of the on going American300 NEVER QUIT Series. The program which is designed to help Airmen identify factors that lead to an overall stronger resolve... resiliency. Now entering it’s fourth month the program has had a wide range of guests, each with their own unique story to share, life experience that Airmen can relate to... take something from and apply to their own life situation.
Joining Simmons Nemec on the ‘Getting Back Up’ themed tour, is fellow ESPN XGames great, Kurt Yaeger a world renowned BMX below knee amputee and Hollywood actor, whose acting career as been focused on playing the part of non-amputee roles. Yaeger is also actively training with the U.S. Paralympic Bobsled/Luge Team in the run up to the Soshi Winter Olympics in 2014.
Special thanks to the Barksdale Air Force Base Dental Clinic, 8th Air Force Senior NCO’s and Chaplain Holmes and Director Patrick Catanese who made day one here at one of America’s oldest Air Force Bases so special. For those who missed the ‘Cookout and a Movie’ at the River’s Edge Airmen’s Ministries facility tonight... look for the Getting Back Up Tour guests over in Medical Group workspaces tomorrow and out on the flight line later in the day. NEVER QUIT SERIES Getting Back Up continues...
PHOTOS - STORIES - VIDEOS - SURVEY available at: www.American300.org
For more information on Air Force Global Strike Command go to: www.afgsc.af.mil
Join Kurt Yaeger’s Facebook Page: Kurt Yaeger
For more on Kurt Yaeger visit: www.kurtyaeger.com
American300 is a 501c3 all volunteer nonprofit focused on raising the resiliency of our Armed Forces Members, their Families and Communities that they live and operate in world wide. In addition to Air Force Global Strike Command, the nonprofit conducts programming for DoD Armed Forces Entertianment, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Military Commands in the Pacific and Europe. No federal endorsement of sponsors or nonprofit is ever intended.