After stepping on skis before the age of 2, Stevenson became obsessed with freestyle skiing during his childhood and adolescence. Building his skillset in halfpipe and slopestyle, the Park City local soon turned heads on the amateur circuit. “I skied every day, all winter long. All I wanted to do was go fast, catch air, and learn new tricks,” said Stevenson in the documentary.
His immense bag of tricks and penchant for progression landed Stevenson invites to Grand Prix Olympic qualifying events and major competitions series at age 15. Competing against the biggest names on the circuit, the prodigy earned a spot on the U.S. Freeski Team in 2015 and seemed headed for the big stage: The X Games and Winter Olympics. But his world shattered in May 2016 when, on an eleven-hour drive from Mount Hood resort, Stevenson fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the road.
The gifted skier suffered multiple skull fractures in the crash and doctors had little hope for a full recovery, let alone freestyle skiing on a professional level. Over the coming months, Stevenson endured vertigo and memory problems but showed the will to power through the ordeal. After only two months, he was not only able to walk again but ride his bike, asking doctors: “When can I ski again?”
Although his medical team gave Stevenson the green light to resume training, more battles were ahead. After all, completing physical rehab is one thing; landing massive aerials and backflips over a snow park ramp is an entirely different ballgame. Speaking on the experience of landing his first tricks after recovery, Stevenson said in the documentary: “I cannot tell you the rush I had. I never felt so much gratitude in my life. I was weaker, but I still had the muscle memory… It’s not over!”
As it turned out, Stevenson was just getting started. Only eight months after the near-fatal crash, Stevenson won his career-first FIS World Cup at Seiser Alm, Italy, in January 2017. From there, he earned a ticket to fulfill his childhood dream: Competing at Winter X Games, the world’s biggest stage in action winter sports.
The rest is freeski history: In his debut at X Games Aspen 2020, the Monster Energy athlete achieved what no other X Games rookie had done in the event’s twenty-year history: After winning the Ski Knuckle Huck competition, Stevenson became the first rookie in X Games history to claim Ski Slopestyle gold. Since then, he has earned critical acclaim for his progressive IGNITE video part and ended his 2021 season with a first-place Slopestyle finish in the final at the U.S. Grand Prix World Cup, as well as the FIS Slopestyle and Overall Freeski Crystal Globe trophies.
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