From Surgery to the Olympics in Under a Year

Snowboarder Seth Wescott overcomes injury to compete for third-straight gold

“Is that it? Do I just kind of retire from competitive snowboarding now and go freeride?”

These thoughts were racing through the mind of snowboarder Seth Wescott in the aftermath of a backcountry accident this past April. It was a crisp blue-sky day in Alaska’s Chugach range and Wescott was dropping one of the first lines of the day. The only problem: he had been sitting on the wrong side of the helicopter and wasn’t able to scout his run in advance.

What he didn’t see was the 40- to 45-foot crevasse that would stop him dead in his tracks—and blow out his knee.

The two-time gold medal winner (and Wheaties box honoree) thought his chances at Sochi were dashed. He’d won the first-ever snowboard cross competition at the Turin Olympics in 2006, and repeated the feat four years later in Vancouver. But at 36 years old and with Sochi only 10 months away, the chances of him coming back to win his third gold seemed like a long shot.

Check out the video below, and visit to see future installments in this series detailing Wescott’s remarkable recovery.


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