It's still summer, but if you're a snowboarder, you're probably already daydreaming about shredding up some pow pow. But, as many riders have learned the hard way, thrills can turn to tragic spills in a heartbeat when participating in this extreme winter sport. HBO's upcoming documentary "The Crash Reel" delves into the life and near death of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who was once compared with Shaun White before falling into a coma following a 2009 training accident in Park City, Utah.
In this exclusive clip at the TV event, we learn that even teetering on the brink of death and the concerns of his dismayed family can't deter Pearce's thrill-seeking spirit. "I still want to snowboard. I want that feeling back," Pearce says after beginning his recovery from the traumatic brain injury. "You cannot afford to hit your head," his doctor responds. Pearce's life is all about the mountain, though, and even his brother's plea, "I just don't want you to die," doesn't stop the dedicated athlete.
But when does dedication turn into recklessness? Pearce asks his father to just trust him, but his dad responds, "You look at it as trust. We look at it as risk." Even so, it's clear that Pearce believes in himself and in miracles: "It'd be a miracle if my brain did heal back 100 percent, but there's been so many miracles, why would you not believe in that one?"
"The Crash Reel" premieres Monday, 7/15 at 9 PM on HBO.