‘I don’t want another kid to feel the way I do’ – Stanley Cup winner and dyslexia-awareness crusader Brent Sopel (CCC)

This week’s guest is hockey star Brent Sopel, who most notably won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. His amazing hockey career included time on 7 NHL teams and playing in over 1000 games.

As a defenseman, Sopel’s a tough-as-nails, block-all-shots machine. Outside the rink, however, things slowly fell apart as his undiagnosed dyslexia contributed to a decline in self-worth and eventually led to extreme alcohol abuse.

Discussed outside the Willowbrook Portillo’s on this week’s show:

  • Coach Q’s firing: Was he scapegoated?
  • The impact of dyslexia on Brent’s hockey career and his self esteem.
  • Starting the Brent Sopel Foundation (brentsopel.com) to help people with dyslexia.
  • 1 in 5 people have dyslexia: A stunning statistic many don’t realize.
  • Brent’s period of numbing his discomfort from dyslexia with alcohol.
  • When you can’t read, it’s pretty tough to pass any classes.
  • Entering the working world after hockey.
  • The intervention given to Brent and his subsequent time in rehab (Brent’s proudly sober over two years, as of this recording).
  • Winning the Stanley Cup: “It was a childhood dream.”
  • Brent’s discovery that he has dyslexia, and how it connects to his daughter’s diagnosis.
  • Cold does not faze Canadians from “God’s country.”
  • Why did Brent choose to “drop anchor” in the Chicago area?
  • Have Brent’s kids taken up sports?
  • Brent’s most memorable sports injuries.
  • Canada’s national sport is not what you think.
  • Memories of Chicago’s Stanley Cup parade: “I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it.”
  • What it felt like when Brent got traded after the Stanley Cup win.
  • How loud is the United Center, compared to other arenas?
  • Brent’s time playing in Siberia.
  • Brent was “lost” when he was no longer playing hockey.
  • The real world’s “not a friendly place.”
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