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PROVO — After becoming paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, a Provo man continued to pursue his passion and has been invited to participate in the 2015 Winter X Games.
Bryan Hatch started riding motorcycles when he was 10 years old and after his father helped him build his own bike, he participated in his first Motocross race. Hatch said a professional rider saw him compete in the race and approached his father.
“He said, ‘You need to get that kid a newer bike and be at the races every weekend,’ ” Hatch said. “From that weekend on, we didn’t miss a weekend of riding or racing until my injury.”
When Hatch was 16 years old, he signed an amateur contract with Yamaha and was scheduled to move to Houston to compete in Motocross. Three days before his move, Hatch was riding his motorcycle at a Motocross practice track when he landed wrong after a double jump, flipped over his handlebars and had his bike fall on top of him.
Hatch received a T-5 spinal cord injury in the accident, leaving him a paraplegic.
“At first, I thought I’d broke both of my femurs because (of the) pain in my legs,” he said. “It felt like my legs were bent underneath and behind me. I looked at my dad and I told him, ‘You need to straighten my legs because they’re bent and broke.’ At that time, he looked at me and said, ‘No, they’re straight.’ At that point, I knew something bad was wrong.”
After receiving the diagnosis of being paralyzed from the waist down, Hatch said he decided to continue to live his life to the fullest and not let his restrictions hold him back.
“I thought, ‘You know, my life really is not over,’ ” he said. “I’m still alive. I’m still here. It took me five seconds in my mind to say, ‘This is what it is now and let’s continue to live like I had in the past as far as living life happy.’ I picked myself back up and twisted the throttle of life and made the best of it.”
Hatch continued his hobby of motorsports and began snowmobiling with an adaptive snowmobile that he built. He said snowmobiling was suited for him because all the controls for the machine are hand-operated.
In 2010, he became interested in Snocross and began practicing on a Motocross track with snow. Although he hasn’t yet competed in Snocross, Hatch was invited to compete in the 2015 Winter X Games in adaptive Snocross.
“I found out about the Snocross thing a few years ago and it’s as close to Motocross as you can find and it really sparked my interest,” Hatch said. “That competitive nature that I’ve got just said that it’s something that I need to do. It’s something that through this whole injury, a door closed on the whole sponsorship and going pro in the Motocross, but it opened a door in something that’s very similar and I’m super excited about it.”
The Winter X Games will take place Jan. 22-25 in Aspen, Colorado at Buttermilk Ski Area. Hatch is working to gain more sponsors and funding to compete and an account* has been set up at UCCU under the name Hatch741 Racing.
*KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.