Dr. Steven Olvey’s memoir has moved from the bookstore to the silver screen
by Scott Roy
Photograph by Clint Blowers
An advance screening of a documentary about the work of autosports safety pioneer Stephen Olvey, M.D., drew a large audience of famed race drivers and other supporters to help raise money for the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Dr. Olvey, associate professor of neurology and neurological surgery, recounted his trackside experiences during some of the most dangerous years in professional racing in a book, Rapid Response: My Inside Story as a Motor Racing Life-Saver, which was made into a film of the same name. The screening took place at the Landmark Theater in Coral Gables’ Merrick Park, where famed motorsports personalities Emerson Fittipaldi, Adrian Fernandez, Bruno Junqueira, Darrell and Jerry Gwynn, and others joined Miami Project co-founders Barth Green, M.D., and Marc Buoniconti to watch the film. Their presence was a recognition of the contributions of both Dr. Olvey and the KiDZ Neuroscience Center.
“The KiDZ Neuroscience Center is at the forefront of keeping our children safe,” said its director, Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., associate research professor of neurological surgery. “We continue to do our best to educate children in our schools, and the public at large, about the importance of safety, but that education takes time and resources. Funding continues to get increasingly more difficult to come by, so that is why raising funds through this event is so important to our cause of saving our most precious resource.”
Dr. Olvey, a member of Dr. Hotz’s team at the KiDZ Neuroscience Center, offered to share the special screening of Rapid Response to create a fundraising and awareness opportunity for the center’s important safety programs. The film highlights the devastating racing accidents and injuries that pushed safety innovation into the modern age and features interviews with motor racing legends Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Al Unser, Rick Mears, Chip Ganassi, Parnelli Jones, Tony Kanaan and Hélio Castroneves. The film will have its official debut at this year’s Indianapolis 500 later this month.
“My good friend Dr. Stephen Olvey is not only a pioneer, but a giant in the motorsports world,” said Marc Buoniconti. “If you’ve ever wondered how some of these drivers walk away from some of these horrific accidents, the movie shows that Dr. Olvey has been at the forefront of keeping these amazing drivers safe and alive, and that is what the KiDZ Neuroscience Center is doing for our greatest asset, our children.”
The KiDZ Neuroscience Center is dedicated to reducing the number of children and adolescents who sustain brain and spinal cord injuries. Since 2001, it has brought injury prevention to youth throughout South Florida through its evidence-based WalkSafe, BikeSafe, SkateSafe, and UConcussion programs. Through partnerships with Miami-Dade Public Schools, City of Miami Parks, the Miami Dolphins Foundation, and many other community organizations, it has helped children enjoy outdoor activities as safely as possible.