Skier Tangled by Backpack on Arapahoe Basin Chairlift and His Rescuer Share The Story With Ellen

Matias Ricci |

Mickey Wilson is a professional slackliner and part-time ski instructor. Earlier this month, he saved Richard, a 30-yeard old friend from Broomfield, CO who was tangling by his backpack in an Arapahoe Basin chairlift. Yesterday, they both joined “The Ellen Degeneres Show” to tell their story.

When Richard’s backpack became entangled in the chairlift, he ended up hanging by his neck as he was swept around the bullwheel at the top of the lift and back down the mountain. He was unconscious for about four minutes as Wilson, who was on a chair behind the skier, climbed up the chairlift tower, crawled down the cable and was able to cut Richard down so Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol could give him CPR.

Images of the rescue. // photo: Facebook (Mickey Wilson)
Images of the rescue. // photo: Facebook (Mickey Wilson)

Maybe because of his extensive swimming experience and ability to hold his breath for long amounts of time, Richard only suffered a broken rib, a few bruises and the feeling that he was “a little bit sore here and there”. However, he called his rescue “a miracle”. 

Richard told Ellen that he had been reluctant to publicly talk to anyone about the rescue before the two got the opportunity on her show.

“I wanted to keep the focus on the real hero here and the rescue, and I didn’t think I had much to contribute to that story,” Richard told Ellen. “I really think the story is about the miracle of Mickey having the skills and ability to jump up there and do what he did in that instance.”

Richard and Mickey with Ellen. // photo: Ellen Show
Richard and Mickey with Ellen. // photo: Ellen Show

For appearing on the show, Degeneres gave each man a seven-night trip for two to Hawaii.




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