Discuss as:

Snowboarder Kevin Pearce hits the slopes two years after devastating accident

Jack Dempsey / AP

Snowboarder Kevin Pearce hits the slopes for the first time, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, in Breckenridge, Colo. Nearly two years after an accident on the halfpipe that nearly took his life, Pearce is doing what nobody could have predicted by riding again.

Jack Dempsey / AP

Snowboarder Kevin Pearce hugs his mother, Pia, after hitting the slopes for the first time, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, in Breckenridge, Colo.

For his sake, I hope Pearce doesn't go back to halfpipe competition (see photo below).

AP reports:

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - Back on the snowboard, back on the mountain, Kevin Pearce rode again Tuesday — 712 days after a devastating accident on the halfpipe nearly took his life.

On a sunsplashed day in Breckenridge, the 24-year-old former champion took three mellow runs down the hill with friends and fans.

Pearce suffered severe head trauma during a training accident on Dec. 31, 2009. Some doctors suggested he'd never ride again. Others said he should always hold out hope.

And ride again he did. Without any trouble. Fitting for this day, those who rode with him replaced the old stickers on their snowboards — the ones that said "I Ride For Kevin" — with new ones that had the "I" and the "For" scratched out and instead read, "Ride With Kevin."

Jonathan Moore / Getty Images

Kevin Pearce of Norwich, Vermont practices before the Men's Snowboard Superpipe elimination during Winter X Games Day 3 on Buttermilk Mountain on Jan. 24, 2009 in Aspen, Colorado.