Kings & Queens – Sit-Skier Trevor Kennison Launches Corbet’s Couloir


(gentle music) – [Man] Three, two, one, drop in. – I’m Trevor Kennison, I’m 26, and I’m from Keene, New Hampshire. And I broke my back four years ago in Vail Pass backcountry snowboarding. You know, I knew right away, but I was trying to be
optimistic. (chuckles) My exact injury, I got a
T11, T12 burst fracture. I dislocated my back in and
I punctured my spinal cord. You know, I went through
pretty good depression after my injury, like probably
five, six months after. I was, like, what am I doing with my life? Went to Craig Hospital and did rehab there and my sister ended up, basically, inviting me back up to
Snowmass, her and her husband. She talked to Challenge Aspen and that was the first time sit skiing. And I did one run and I
didn’t fall that one run, but it snowed like a foot, so I was gripping the outrigger so hard. (upbeat music) My sister just gave me a
little nudge and her husband, like, those two literally
got me skiing again. (uplifting music) Ended up starting to
sit ski and, you know, I snowboarded my whole life, so it’s basically the
same thing with two edges and I’m just facing forward. High Fives Foundation, they help athletes that have life-altering
injuries doing action sports. I made goals with High Fives
and then I run my goals of Paralympics gold
medal, hitting Corbet’s, and back flip and a road gap. I thought Corbet’s probably would’ve been by far the last accomplishment. (upbeat percussive music) – Kings and Queens, it’s
a super dynamic event. A great group of people come
together to celebrate limits. The interesting dynamic
with Corbet’s Couloir, which is probably one of the most famous runs on the mountain, if not out there, (chuckles) is that everyone is dealing
with the same variables and conditions and everyone is gonna look and ride it a little bit differently. – You know, getting the
invite, I got an email. A friend of a friend got it connected and drove to Jackson Sunday, went straight to the athlete’s meeting. I was looking at the list and was, like, “Travis Rice is gonna be here, man.” When I broke my back in 2014,
watching “Art of Flight”, it changed my life. I was nervous and I’m not gonna lie, dude, I was nervous for that. – Welcoming party at Roadhouse Brewery and I met Trevor right there. We got to talking and
then I didn’t even realize that he was going to actually try to ride (chuckles) Corbet’s. – [Trevor] Jess McMillan was basically, “Hey, contest is on next day,” and you know, I was ready to go. (intense percussive music)
(crowd cheering) It was my first time ever
up there, hanging out. I was just in so much awe, I just couldn’t believe
this was happening. – Got up to the top, kind of still the end
of the last first runs. At that point, I knew that Trevor wanted to go in between the first and second run. You know, I saw him there
kind of looking at it. You know, I was looking
into where I had jumped into and the landing was pretty bombed out. You know, to be totally honest, not being too familiar
what’s possible on a sit ski, I kinda had to hold back for a second and then I decided to
go up and talk to him and I went up and chatted with him and I looked him in the
eyes and I was, like, “Do you got this?” He looked me straight in the
eyes without any hesitation and he’s, like, “I got this.” You know, the minute after
he said that, I was, like, “All right, how can I help
you make this happen?” – [Travis] Yeah I mean,
when I was kinda coming in, I was kinda looking out at the mountains. – [Travis] Here, let me give you a pull. – [Trevor] In the middle of one of the coolest competitions ever, he ended up, when I was on the jump, he’s, like, “You want me to push you in?” He’s, like, “I got your coat.” (dramatic instrumental music) – [Travis] It helps so
much to be able to do that kind of approach in multiple times. I’ll give you speed, I got your jacket, I’ll make sure you don’t go over, but it’s nicer to have speed. – [Trevor] He dropped
in, he was basically, “I think this is good for speed.” – [Man] Three, two, one, drop in. (crowd cheering) – I think it was a good call,
it was a good call, I agree. When I drop off a cliff,
if I just go slow, I dive. So having more speed, the better. And I’m sure I freaked
out a bunch of people and Travis Rice, all the patrollers, you know, it was a team effort. So we’re sitting there,
everyone goes down, and I do my routine every single time. I close my eyes, I think about
it, imagine it, sticking it. And I dropped in. (upbeat instrumental music) (crowd cheering) It was probably the
best feeling in my life. I looked up to all the athletes and I stuck the outrigger up. They were just cheering
and I could hear it. – That was insane. Hit is so perfect. I mean, his line, actually
made it over the goat path, hit the only little piece
of tranny that was there, bottomed out the whip, compressed, and then aired another 30 feet, 40 feet, and was so on it, but just, oh, just listed a little
bit over the bars, and then boom, riding out of it. And (chuckles) everyone
was just blown away. Everyone was (chuckles), just, “Oh my god, did I just
really see that happen?” (crowd cheering and clapping) – When I came down, this guy Buddha, he ended up giving me
Jackson Hole Air Force patch. Basically it’s one of the
highest honors at Jackson Hole and that’s incredible to me. Are you kidding me?
– That is a trophy, man. – I love witnessing people push themselves beyond their comfort zone, but with a level of
responsibility and confidence. That was the most impressive moment, without a doubt, of the whole event. – I’m proud to present
the Rider’s Choice Award to Trevor Kennison. (audience cheers) ♪ You keep me looking up ♪ ♪ You’re the keys to my car ♪ ♪ Starting me up ♪ ♪ Standing at your heart ♪ – Whenever you see me, I’m always smiling. Just being here just
topped it by 10 times. You know, if I can be an inspiration, showing people what you really
can do after you get injured or, you know, life’s not over. It’s just the beginning of a new life. I don’t regret anything my injury. It’s literally just saved my life, it’s made me a new purpose and yeah, I wouldn’t
give it for the world. So I’m super lucky.

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