Top Snowboarder Slowly Regains Consciousness
Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce has 'long recovery' ahead
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2010 2:19 PM CST
Kevin Pearce flies off the ledge during the halfpipe finals competition at the 27th Annual US Open Snowboard Championships at Stratton Mountain Resort in Stratton, Vt., March 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Nancy Palmieri)
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(Newser) – Doctors have upgraded Kevin Pearce’s condition from critical to serious and say the snowboarder is slowly regaining consciousness after a spill last week that left him with a traumatic brain injury. That’s “faster than anticipated,” one doctor says, but “he still has a long recovery ahead of him.” Pearce had been hoping to garner worldwide attention by pulling off a double cork at the Vancouver Olympics next month, notes the Boston Globe, which talked to him before his accident.

Pearce thought he had mastered the double cork 1080, a twisting double backflip that would have revolutionized the sport, but he acknowledged it was a risky move. “You’ve got to be in peak condition,” he said, “because if one thing goes wrong, it’s kind of the end of your season.” Pearce, who struck his head on the halfpipe in last week's accident, said danger wasn’t the point. “I’m not trying to look like a daredevil or anything out there,” he said. “I’m just trying to make it look like I’m out there having fun.”