Former Stanley Cup Champ Brent Sopel is Right here to Change the World


Courtesy of the Brent Sopel FoundationBy Steele RodinWhen you hear the phrase champion, a number of of the traits that spring to thoughts are power, self-discipline, ardour and sacrifice. Brent Sopel displayed all these traits all through his hockey profession, particularly whereas profitable the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks. However whilst he climbed to the highest of the hockey mountain, there was nonetheless one thing consuming away at him that he couldn’t determine after years of making an attempt. It was solely shortly earlier than that title, at age 33, that Sopel made a life-changing discovery. He took the oldest of his two daughters, Lyla, to an appointment the place she was recognized with dyslexia after exhibiting issue with studying and writing. Sopel lastly understood the foundation of his struggles after his daughter’s analysis as that was the primary time he had heard the phrase dyslexia.  “If we didn’t get her examined, and if she didn’t have it, I wouldn’t know what I’ve as we speak, so I’d nonetheless be struggling as nicely,” Sopel stated. “My instant focus was on my daughter as she was in Grade 2. Now she’s in first 12 months of school and doing wonderful, however we each have gone via numerous hardships, and the toughest half about dyslexia is in the event you don’t have it you should have no concept what we undergo every day.”Dyslexia is a studying dysfunction that impacts the mind’s means to course of language and entails issue studying to learn or interpret phrases, letters and different symbols, however it doesn’t take away from one’s mind.    Courtesy of the Brent Sopel FoundationA 12 months after his analysis, Sopel determined to maneuver to Russia to be able to discover himself in addition to prolong a hockey profession he knew was coming to an finish. However these chilly Russian winters alone took a toll on him mentally. Being away from household was exhausting, and that’s when he started to drink closely, as he had performed earlier in his life.The reality was, Sopel didn’t have to seek out himself, he needed to repair himself.He returned to Canada and commenced engaged on his sobriety, and within the course of, he says he discovered his true calling in life: serving to folks with dyslexia. He created the Brent Sopel Basis and launched a 25-minute documentary on YouTube, Brent Sopel: Right here to Change the World, to be able to increase consciousness. Within the movie, Sopel opens up about his struggles and the way far he has come since retiring from hockey. “From coping with medicine and alcohol and never removed from demise to being right here having this dialog with you and to launch the documentary and having the ability to assist folks,” stated Sopel, now 43. “I used to be rock-bottom, I used to be in an unsightly place. I pulled myself out, however none of this story is about me. I inform it the best way it’s, the rawness of it, as a result of that’s the reality and it is for everyone else on the market. I’ve come a great distance, however to see a smile on Kaid’s face…that’s all the pieces for me. I don’t look the place I’m at as we speak, I look the place they’re.” Kaid Oliver is featured within the documentary. The 20-year-old WHL winger additionally struggles with dyslexia however was against talking about his dysfunction till an assistant coach launched him to Sopel.As a lot as Sopel wished to assist others with their struggles, he first needed to take care of his personal ache. “It began with getting sober,” Sopel stated. “I ended up going to rehab, and I needed to discover ways to love myself and discover out who I’m and be OK with battling the easy issues like studying. I had numerous studying to do about myself and be OK with who I’m…after which after that to speak about it.”Now, after nearly 4 years of sobriety, Sopel has change into an advocate for each alcohol- and drug-addiction restoration in addition to dyslexia and dysgraphia consciousness, and that’s what he needs to be remembered for. Courtesy of the Brent Sopel Basis“I get extra out of serving to anyone than I ever did placing my skates on and taking part in within the NHL,” he stated. “My basis is my function, and I need my legacy to be that basis and figuring out that you just’ve positively affected anyone’s life irrespective of who you’re or the place you’re. That is a tremendous feeling, figuring out they gained’t have the scars that I’ve.”October is Dyslexia Consciousness Month and, in accordance with the Dyslexia Heart of Utah, one in 5 folks wrestle with the educational dysfunction. There are greater than 40 million folks within the U.S. alone who’re dyslexic, and roughly 95 p.c stay undiagnosed and wrestle each day with out realizing. For Sopel, he wakes up each morning with one aim in thoughts. “I by no means need a child to really feel the best way I did each day,” he stated. “It’s one thing that may be prevented, and that’s precisely what I’m making an attempt to do. My documentary is named Right here to Change the World, however I’ve to teach the world first.”

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