A lot has changed in the ski world within the last 13 months. We’ve seen young skiers like Bobby Brown begin to transcend themselves to superstar status. France has emerged as the most dominant nation in ski halfpipe with the rise of Kevin Rolland and Xavier Bertoni. Famous spots such as Utah’s Chad’s Gap have seen double corks unearthed on their once unthinkable gap. However, something has been noticeably absent from skiing during this time, the presence of ski icon Tanner Hall.
Tanner Hall has to rank as one of the most accomplished pro skiers to date. Heaps of X Games medals, the launch of his own ski company, investing in Retallack Ski Lodge, filming his own movies, the Montana-native has seemingly done it all. Sadly though the ski world hasn’t been treated to much of Tanner’s larger-than-life ski persona as of late, as he suffered yet another career-threatening injury on May 16, 2009 after overshooting a park jump at Stevens Pass.
The resulting injuries included fractures to both tibial plateaus, and ACL tears in each knee. For some, this rash of injuries could easily spell game over to an already successful professional ski career, but most people don’t have the warrior-like determination of Tanner. The ski community has already had to bear witness to Tanner’s career being jeopardized with a serious ski injury, and saw one of the best comebacks in the sport to date. After breaking both ankles in 2005 while coming up short on Chad’s Gap, Tanner returned with a vengeance to take gold medals in both the 2006 Winter X Games and US Open halfpipe contests.
While Tanner has repeatedly said he has no plans to return to competitive skiing after he returns from this injury and would rather concentrate on filming, I don’t think any skier will be willing to admit they are sleeping on Tanner Hall…
The road to Tanner’s return has only a couple more hurdles, as he will meet with his doctor one last time in the next few days, and has projected his likely return to skiing to be at Mt. Hood this July 6th-12th before heading to Evolve Chile for August powder skiing. However, it looks like Tanner is already working to get some of his legendary aerial awareness back, as Tanner returns to a trampoline for the first time in nearly two years.
Welcome back brother.
Photo by: Alex O’Brien