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SALT LAKE CITY — Reporters and photographers were on the red carpet line on Friday as the Sundance Film Festival held its Salt Lake premiere. And one of the documentaries featured has a Utah tie. It's about a snowboarder and Olympic hopeful, Kevin Pearce.
On Dec. 14, 2011, snowboarder Kevin Pearce returned to the slopes with hundreds of fans cheering him on. Dozens of news crews showed up to capture the event because one year earlier he had a near life-ending accident in Park City on Jan. 1, 2010.
His head slammed into a half-pipe lip as he was attempting a move that he had hoped would take him to the Olympics. He had even beaten the great Shawn White. After multiple surgeries, and extensive physical therapy, Pearce is back and on Friday was moving up a mountain in Colorado with friends and a slew of photographers to go snowboard.
But because of what happened, Kevin Pearce has taken on a new role to protect young snowboarders, and in particular, the High Cascade Campers.
"It really is such a small thing to put a helmet on and snowboard," Pearce said. "I mean, it's so fun. You guys don't really know what you have while you're snowboarding until it's gone. I mean, it's crazy that I would have died if I didn't have a helmet on."
He shows them that even with limitations, there is cause for celebration.