Brent Poppen is an author, substitute teacher, counselor and an international motivational speaker. A sports accident at age sixteen caused a spinal-cord injury that left him paralyzed for life. Brent became a quadriplegic, losing complete use of his legs with some paralysis in his upper extremities. This was an ending in many ways, but also a beginning to journeys he never dreamed! His spinal-cord injury did not paralyze his athletic dreams, because he has become one of the top disabled athletes in the world. Brent competed in two consecutive Paralympics, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, in wheelchair rugby and tennis. He earned a Bronze Medal in wheelchair rugby and has received numerous Gold Medals and world titles in both sports.
Brent is also an avid water skier, teaching other disabled persons either at his home lake, or through his water ski programs with Children’s Hospital in Fresno, California.
Poppen earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Chapman College in Southern California. He is a rehabilitation counselor at Children’s Hospital in Fresno California. Poppen has served on staff at the Boys School (a youth correctional facility) in Paso Robles, California.
Brent and Erika met in college and dated for several years before becoming happily married. They later moved from Long Beach to Paso Robles, California, where Erika is an elementary school teacher.