The U.S. snowboard team bound for Vancouver was dealt another huge blow early Sunday when Danny Davis, one of the brightest U.S. halfpipe hopefuls, suffered an L3 spine fracture in an ATV accident.
The incident occurred just hours after Davis won Saturday night’s halfpipe competition at the Winter Dew Tour in Ogden, Utah. According to The Park Record, Davis and his friend were traveling down a driveway on private property at 3:30 in the morning when they struck a closed gate.
The accident landed Davis in intensive care, putting an abrupt end to his hopes in Vancouver. His loss is the second major blow the elite U.S. snowboarding team has suffered in the past three weeks.
Davis’ close friend, Kevin Pearce, was critically injured Dec. 31 during a training run. Pearce remains at University Hospital in Salt Lake City in serious condition. Davis and Pearce are part of the same tight-knit riding posse known as the Frends Crew. They spell friends without the “i” to illustrate their unity as a group, not individuals.
Davis had been representing for Pearce well over the past couple of weeks, assuring friends and media that Pearce was OK, while putting in his best performances ever. On Jan. 6, Davis upset golden boy Shaun White to win the Olympic qualifier in Mammoth Mountain by way of his go-for-broke approach that earned him a 49.20, the highest scoring ride ever in halfpipe competition.
His win Saturday night seemingly meant he was peaking at just the right time, as the U.S. Olympic halfpipe team is to be decided in Park City this weekend.