By Brielle Goulart

Despite facing multiple brain injuries, Oscar Blyth, a graduate of the University of Victoria and a freestyle skier, has overcome obstacles and continues to pursue his goals.

Along with a few of his close friends, Oscar will be moving to Innsbruck, Austria in the new year to make the most out of Austria’s extraordinary ski season. He and his friends are excited to collaborate on their new creative agency, Frank Creative, while they’re there.

Oscar encourages other brain injury survivors to “stay hopeful.”

“It’s so easy to get discouraged,” he says. “Feeling discouraged is what will kill all your momentum for getting better. I’m ten times happier now than I was before my injury.”

Oscar’s Story

After high school, Oscar deferred going to university and decided to pursue his passion for Freestyle Skiing, with the goal of making the Canadian team.

“That year was pretty rough,” he says. “I hit my head twice, and broke my shoulder blade, all on separate occasions.”

As much as Oscar loved the sport, he became fearful of the potential consequences. Oscar made the decision to prioritize his education and enrolled in the University of Calgary’s business school.

During his first year of university, he experienced another head injury when he slipped and fell in his university residence. Thankfully, Oscar was able to defer all his exams, but when he returned to school for the next semester, he quickly noticed that he wasn’t feeling well in class.

The Journey Uphill

After patiently waiting for a couple months to observe any improvement, Oscar and his family located a private clinic to provide the necessary support for his recovery.

“It was a full-time job of going to appointments every day, and it definitely helped a lot,” he says. “The clinic took a holistic approach, I had a physical therapist, an athletic therapist, a cognitive-behavioural therapist, and a counselor.”

Unfortunately, like numerous Canadians battling brain injury and concussion, Oscar’s treatments were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. He was unable to attend his sessions in-person and did not find the video conferences as effective.

Oscar later transferred to the University of Victoria but was still battling extreme discomfort every day.

“I had so many issues the first couple years after going back to school,” he says. “I would get headaches for months at a time.”

Oscar travelled by ferry to Vancouver regularly during the school day to visit pain clinics to see if they could find a solution.

Over time, Oscar reached a point where he felt that none of his efforts were effective, and he considered the option of simply ignoring it and pushing forward.

“It’s a terrible way to deal with your problems,” he says.

He credits his positive outlook for guiding him through the various challenges he faced, ultimately leading him to recovery.

“Brain injuries are weird compared to other injuries for sure,” he says. “If you break your leg, there’s an obvious timeline. You get your cast off, that’s one milestone, then physical therapy, then you can go back to your sport.”

Oscar felt that trying so many different approaches was complicating his life rather than simplifying it. Each person’s journey is unique, and the path to recovery can vary from person to person.

“There’s no set formula for how to get better,” he says.

Celebrating the Ride

Oscar’s recent obsession is running. He picked it up this past summer and noticed that the 2023 Royal Victoria Marathon was only ten weeks away.

Completing this run represented a significant achievement for him. After his last injury, when he first started to move again, he would go down to Kits Beach in Vancouver and run for 30 seconds at a time.

I cried the first time I did this because I was so happy to move again. If I could only run for 30 seconds at one point, and now I can run a full marathon, maybe it’s proving to myself that I’m healed.”

Oscar Blyth

Oscar wanted to use his experience for good and decided to fundraise for Brain Canada ahead of his run this past October.

“Brain Canada is pushing the boundaries of concussion research,” he says. “It’s fantastic that the foundation focuses on all issues of the brain, because everyone can personally connect to the cause.”

He aspires for his marathon accomplishment to serve as inspiration, demonstrating to others that it is possible to progress from a sense of feeling ‘stuck’ to feeling healthy again.

Thanks to Brain Changes Initiative and its generous gift of $850,000, Brain Canada has introduced a pioneering project on traumatic brain injury to ground its funded research in the needs of diverse stakeholders.

To keep up with Oscar, you can find him on Instagram @oscarblyth. To donate to his initative, visit