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Park City native Colby Stevenson claims silver medal after near-fatal car crash

Feb 9, 2022, 11:52 AM | Updated: 1:51 pm

Silver medalist Colby Stevenson of Team United States celebrates after the Men's Freestyle Skiing F...

Silver medalist Colby Stevenson of Team United States celebrates after the Men's Freestyle Skiing Freeski Big Air Final on Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Big Air Shougang on February 09, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Six years ago, Colby Stevenson nearly lost his life in a rollover crash in Oregon. Now, the Park City native will return to the U.S. with a silver medal.

Stevenson earned the medal Wednesday after his second-place finish in the men’s big air ski event final. Friends and family gathered to watch in Park City, erupting in cheers once his final score was announced.

KSL TV’s Alex Cabrero surprised Stevenson with his family’s reaction during an interview after the competition in Bejing.

The result seems miraculous, considering Stevenson suffered traumatic injuries after he fell asleep at the wheel and rolled his truck several times in a 2016 crash near Mount Hood, Oregon.

“So I basically shattered the whole right side of my skull,” Stevenson said, adding he broke several bones and a couple of vertebrae in his neck, damaged his eye socket and injured his jaw.

“It was like six months of hell, basically,” he said. “And then I was back skiing, and everything was somehow alright.”

Stevenson said he shifted his focus from wanting to win to being grateful for the chance to live, travel and compete — which helped him find what it takes to win in competitions.

“My first world cup back after the accident was in Italy, and I remember being at the top of my run and closing my eyes and thinking of all my loved ones,” Stevenson said. (I opened) my eyes and then dropped into my run, and won the world cup.”

“If you can somehow do it out of love, then that’s going to be your best shot.”

At Tuesday night’s watch party in Park City, Stevenson’s mother told KSL Sports’ Sam Farnsworth her son made a headband out of the shirt he was wearing the night of the 2016 crash, and he wore it under his helmet as he won his silver medal.

“We are so happy for our wonderful kid,” Carol Stevenson said.

Colby Stevenson of United States performs a trick during the Men's Freestyle Skiing Freeski Big Air Final on Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Big Air Shougang on February 09, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) Silver medalist Colby Stevenson of Team United States celebrates after the Men's Freestyle Skiing Freeski Big Air Final on Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Big Air Shougang on February 09, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) Silver medallist, Colby Stevenson of Team United States looks on during the Men's Freeski Big Air medal ceremony on Day 5 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Beijing Medal Plaza on February 09, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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Park City native Colby Stevenson claims silver medal after near-fatal car crash