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Snowboarder Kevin Pearce in critical condition after halfpipe accident

Snowboarder Kevin Pearce poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit in Chicago. Top Olympic snowboarding hopeful Kevin Pearce is in critical condition, injured while training in Park City, Utah, for next week's Olympics qualifier at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

Pearce, 22, hit his head above one of his eyes on an icy halfpipe wall and was knocked unconscious, reports Pete Thomas on his blog.

Pearce was airlifted to the University of Utah Hospital, where he had surgery Thursday evening to relieve fluid buildup on his brain. He remains in critical but stable condition.

Pearce, of Norwich, Vt., has been considered a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic Team. He is one of the few competitors to challenge snowboarder Shaun White, besting him at the Burton European Open in 2008 and 2009 and taking the silver medal at last winter's X Games, losing the gold medal to White by one point.

Family members have set up a Facebook page, where fans can offer their support and well wishes.

"We would like to thank everyone for their support at this time and ask that you keep Kevin in your thoughts and prayers during his recovery," his parents, Simon and Pia Pearce, said in a statement issued Friday.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Snowboarder Kevin Pearce poses for a portrait during the USOC Media Summit in Chicago last year. Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

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Comments (7)

im so sorry bless you kevin
just think of the lord and he will help you

I have a brother that hit a guardrail doing about 75 mph on his bike. Steve suffered TBI and was hospitalized for about 2 months. It thoroughly took about 12 months for him to return to normal (in his case, wild and crazy), but during the recovery process he was so much different than he was before the accident. A lot of prayers went into my brother's recovery and I know it can work for you. God be with you...Jesus saves.

All of our thoughts and prayers are with your family and loved ones at this time.
Every athlete in Vancouver and especially Whistler will be thinking of you when the games start as will all sporting Canadians.
Keep your faith and spirits high.

Our thoughts are with you and your family Kevin!

Godspeed to Kevin. As any one of us southpaws know, he is a tough nut and will come out this better. Go lefty Go! God bless you!


Donna Vano

get well soon, Vancouver needs you


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.