4 days later, Vermont Olympian fighting for life - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

4 days later, Vermont Olympian fighting for life

Burlington, Vermont - January 4, 2010

A top Olympic snowboarding prospect from Vermont is fighting for his life after a horrible training accident in Utah.

22-year-old Kevin Pearce, of Norwich, fell on his head four days ago while attempting a difficult stunt. He is on life support, listed in critical but stable condition.

Pearce's teachers say no one was surprised when Kevin Pearce became a huge success in the world of snowboarding, because he was the kind of kid who never gave up, and now they are counting on his dogged determination to get him through his crisis.

Kevin Pearce has been all over the net and TV this season, winning half-pipe competitions as a member of the Burton professional riding team, and become a top prospect to make the U.S. Olympic team and win a medal.

But as he proved in this stunt he is in a high-risk sport where falls are common, and this is not Pearce, but it was during a training run to do this stunt called a double cork that he fell on his head last Thursday, and he's now on life supports in critical condition.

His success comes six years after his formative training years at the Okemo Mountain School where he over came severe dyslexia to become an all A student, and a boarder famous for his positive attitude and dogged determination.

"The type of student he is, and now it's very clear you know being a contender for the Olympics prior to his injury of course, that his perseverance, his appreciation of that trait is what got him to where he is," said Chris Marks at the Okemo Mountain School.

Marks is his former English teacher at the school. He says if anyone can recover from a traumatic brain injury, it is Kevin Pearce.

"You know recovery is difficult from any type of injury, but I think someone as strong-willed that has as much spirit and perseverance as he does will be just fine," said Marks.

"I could tell just by the work he put into it and the passion he had for it," said Jerry Tucker at the Okemo Mountain School.

His former snowboard coach Jerry Trucker says Kevin has remained the same down-to-earth kid despite his ascendancy to the international stage of fame and success.

We have few details about the full extent of Kevin Pearce's injuries. He is on a respirator and is sedated, but he has not undergone any surgery. The good news, there is reportedly no brain swelling that would require surgery.

His friends in Vermont are now praying for his full recovery, knowing that he is the guy who can win this battle if anyone can.

Kevin Pearce is the son of Simon Pearce, the famous glass blower based out of Quechee.

Brian Joyce - WCAX News

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