Burton global team rider Kevin Pearce has ridden his snowboard again for the first time since suffering a traumatic brain injury in 2009. The Vermont native, wearing special glasses to help his damaged eyesight, was the centre of something of a media circus in Vail as he boarded the chairlift for a gentle cruise down the piste. The moment was the culmination of nearly two years’ hard work since his accident, in which KP has had to re-learn basic skills like eating, walking, talking, balancing and seeing. The official press release explains that in a symbolic gesture, Kevin’s sponsor Jake Burton “switched out his ‘I Ride for Kevin’ snowboard sticker (the grassroots campaign Burton created back in 2009 to show support for Kevin) with a new Burton sticker that says ‘Ride with Kevin’.”
While we’re stoked to see him back riding again – and more importantly Kevin is chuffed to bits too – we must admit it’s a little uncomfortable to watch the PR scrum surrounding this past master of the halfpipe winning a very private battle.