Injured Aspen, Colo. snowboarder receives grant through Tahoe-based High Fives Foundation

Vlad Kovalenko to receive Empowerment Grant to aid in recovery from life-altering injury following snowboard accident

#HighFivesAthlete Vlad Kovalenko

The High Fives Foundation is awarding Vlad Kovalenko a board-approved Empowerment Grant of $650 to aid in his goal of recovery. The funds will afford Kovalenko the opportunity to receive vital treatments necessary to recovery.

Kovalenko was snowboarding on a cat track at Vail, Colo., when another skier cut him off. As he attempted to avoid the skier, he hit a wooden post and tore three nerves out of his spine, and two more in his shoulder. In addition to the spinal cord complications, Kovalenko also suffered from bleeding in his brain.

While Kovalenko’s goals are to build strength and regain function in his arm, what he’s truly striving for “is to make the Paralympic Snowboard team and compete in the 2018 Winter Paralympics,” says Kovalenko.

“It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with Vlad,” said Roy Tuscany, High Fives Foundation Executive Director. “Vlad and other High Fives athletes have proven to themselves that the time and effort they put in pays off in their road to recovery.”

The High Fives Foundation supports injured mountain sports athletes through grant funding to be used towards reaching their recovery goals. Since the High Fives Foundation’s January 2009 inception, the Empowerment program service has assisted 104 athletes from 22 states in nine respective funding categories which include: living expenses, insurance, travel, health, healing network, adaptive equipment, winter equipment, programs and “stoke” (positive energy, outlook and attitude).

In Quarter 1 of 2016 the High Fives Foundation disbursed $91,509 in board-approved grants to 19 athletes in 9 states.


About the High Fives Foundation: The High Fives Foundation is a Tahoe-based, national 501.c.3 non-profit organization. The High Fives Foundation supports the dreams of mountain action sports athletes by raising injury prevention awareness while providing resources and inspiration to those who suffer life-altering injuries. Formed as a way to “pay-it-forward” by the founder from his own recovery to help injured athletes, the Foundation has helped 104 athletes to date since its inception in 2009. For more information visit www.highfivesfoundation.org

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