On a bluebird day and without a care in the world, Kevin Pearce strapped into his board and got on the chairlift. Something he’s been dreaming about doing for two years since being sidelined from a severe traumatic brain injury while training for the Olympics. His best Frends and the slew of supporters he picked up along the way came out in full force to ride by his side and share those first turns back with him at Breckenridge. We rode with Kevin too, and continue to be inspired by his progress. Check out his thoughts below.
How did your first day back on the board feel?
It felt good yesterday to get to sticker my board up. Then this morning to tie my boots up and just to walk out of the house with a snowboard in my hand was just crazy. Then to see how beautiful it was and to walk up here and see all the people, so much stuff came together. My friends were here, the weather was perfect, all the fans were here to support me.
Jack Mitrani giving Kevin props for being back
What was it like taking those first turns?
I’ve been thinking about it for a while, just wondering what it would be like for me after two years not being on a snowboard. I wondered how much my body would forget and how hard it was going to be. But I jumped on and it was just right there. It felt like I didn’t lose anything. And it was just so cool to be able to get back on the board and be so natural on it.
Kevin with pros Danny Kass, Hannah Teter and Linn Haug
Is it hard to believe this day is finally here?
Every day since I thought I was going to get to snowboard again, I’ve been thinking about it. I’ve been dreaming about it a lot too, and I wake up from dreams and I’m just like, “Holy cow.”
Getting some turns in
What did you think about the turnout of everyone here to ride with you?
I was walking up here and I was wondering and asking my mom, “Do you think anybody’s going to be up there to ride with me?” And then we walk up and there’s all these press people and all these fans up here. And sure enough everyone was there, and they’ve been there these last two years. It’s just cool to see that they’re still there and still helping me out. They still got my back. It’s really good to have that feeling after going through something this traumatic and just to know that people really appreciate all the work I’ve put in.
Kevin and his mom
Check back to allisports.com later tonight for more from Kevin in our Alli Video from the day. Kevin is in Breckenridge to support the Dew Tour’s Nike Open which takes place from Dec 15-18. Be sure to tune in to the NBC broadcast of the Dew Tour on Saturday, Dec. 17 for a live interview and feature on Kevin.