Paralyzed skier returns as spectator one year after devastating crash
The Denver Post
Kailyn Forsberg is nervous.
“We are breaking new ground here,” her dad, Mitch, says. “I think you should go switch.”
She spins her wheelchair around and rides down the escalator backwards, or in freeskiing lingo, “switch.” Her knuckles turn white as she grips the handrail. Her grin widens on the descent, her first-ever ride on an escalator in her wheelchair.
“Absolutely terrifying,” she says. “Let’s do it again.”
Last year on this weekend at Copper Mountain, she was one of freeskiing’s hottest up-and-comers, claiming two medals at the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association’s national contest — a launching pad for aspiring young riders aiming for a competitive career on snow. Practicing for her best discipline, slopestyle, she over-rotated a backflip when the snow was hard and fast in the early morning. She arrived at Copper Mountain a champion and left paralyzed from the chest down.
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