U.S. snowboarder Kevin Pearce in critical condition at Utah hospital

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 1, 2010 5:44 pm

Snowboarder Kevin Pearce was training yesterday in Park City, Utah, preparing for next weekend’s Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain when he fell in the 22-foot halfpipe and was knocked unconscious. Pearce also suffered a concussion three weeks ago during another run at Copper Mountain, in Colorado.

Even mild concussions can take six weeks to heal, so it is not known if the earlier injury contributed to the severity of Pearce’s condition. The 22 year-old athlete was transported to the University of Utah hospital in Salt Lake City, where he underwent surgery to relieve pressure from fluid buildup in his brain. Pearce currently remains in critical condition.

The Norwich, Vermont snowboarder had been preparing to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team and hit his head on the wall of the halfpipe. For those not in the know, the halfpipes are often like sheets of ice, to help athletes get enough speed for their tricks.

Fans and well-wishers can contact Pearce through a Facebook page, to send him healing thoughts and help speed his recovery.