BRIGHTON, Mich. – The Winter Olympics include high-speed and high-risk sports in which athletes push themselves beyond reasonable limits, which can lead to injury. Among first responders on the ski hills and snowboard venues, you might see Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, one of the top sports neurologists in the world.
"We're there for the athletes," Kutcher said. "Whatever we can to help them."
His specialty is concussions, which have made sports headlines in recent years.
As a former hockey player himself, Kutcher is a strong promoter of sports for children and adults for the many benefits they offer, both physically and mentally. Injury is always a risk, but he said concussions are very misunderstood.
After 10 years at the University of Michigan, Kutcher founded the Sports Neurology Clinic in Brighton. His patients range from local high school students to former NFL and NHL players recovering from brain injury and trauma.
Kutcher said recent awareness about injuries has brought important changes in coaching techniques, rules and restrictions at all levels of sports. But we need to do more, he said.
In his role at the Olympics, Kutcher carries the pressure of having the final world. If an athlete suffers a head injury, he might be the one who has to tell them their Olympic dream is over.
"It's a tough position to be in," Kutcher said.
You can watch Steve Garagiola's full story in the video posted above.