Amazingly inspirational amputee and X Games athlete to speak at Mammoth

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 2, 2010 2:00 pm

This just in from Mammoth Mountain Resort:

“Although you may not know the name EJ Poplawski, you may have read his story, which appeared in the ski and outdoor media. Poplawski skied better than most do in their dreams, until one single run undid everything.

He was competing in Crested Butte in the 10th Annual U.S.  Telemark Extreme Freeskiing Championships and his run was going well when he dropped one last cliff.

Although he stuck the landing, one of his skis didn’t do as well and  broke on impact.  He’d stayed upright and tried to continue down the steep face on his single ski at about 40mph.

That’s right, 40mph.

As if that’s not difficult enough, his broken ski was still attached to his boot, like a useless outrigger with a mind of its own. And  Poplawski was heading towards a cluster of aspens.

He navigated around all the trees but one: a single, 3″ diameter arbor. Unlike a slalom gate, it didn’t break away. But his knee sure did, rupturing the popliteal artery.

Ski patrol was quick to his rescue and he was soon on  his way to the hospital. By the time he arrived it was too late. Too much damage was done and a few days later his leg was amputated above the knee.That was in 2006.

Two years ago he returned to the snow and his progress was amazing. But don’t take our word for it. Watch the video below. Or, even better, come out on Wednesday to hear his speak at the Westin. It’s a free event and all info in the poster above.”