Kailyn Forsberg – 15-year-old skier who became paralyzed after breaking her neck
When 15-year-old Kailyn Forsberg loaded herself onto the ski lift April 7, 2015, she had her heart set on a championship at the United States of America Snowboard and Free Skiing nationals held at Copper Mountain in Colorado. She had already finished second in the previous day’s rail competition and was headed to complete her aerials.
Once out on the snow, Forsberg had an accident that would change her life forever. Instead of perfectly landing her signature move, the backflip, the young skier over-rotated and landed on her neck and shoulders. The fall caused severe back, neck, pelvis, and hip injuries. She was told by doctors that she would most likely never walk again…must less ski.
Proving the doctors wrong, Forsberg returned to the slopes January 16, 2016, a few months short of one year after her life-altering accident. She may not have returned to the skiing she once knew, but with the help of a “dual ski” (a seat on a pair of hourglass-shaped skis), and a “mono ski” (a seat atop one ski), she is able to continue her dream of becoming a champion on the slopes.
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Kailyn Forsberg practices wheelies with the assistance of her father, Mitch, at Craig Hospital in Englewood on May 12, 2015. Mitch, who started Forsberg on skis when she was just 1, says that Kailyn is the toughest person he knows. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post.
Kailyn Forsberg makes one of her first solo runs on a mono ski during her first day back on the snow since being paralyzed in a slopestyle skiing accident last year. Forsberg was photographed at Winter Park on Saturday, January 16, 2016.