Trevor Kennison, a sit-skier from Winter Park, CO., made history last week at the X Games by being the first adaptive athlete ever to hit the big air jump. Kennison catapulted himself 90-feet from the lip of the jump, overshooting the landing by 10 feet. His jump electrified the X Games crowd, and he has garnered lots of well-deserved attention over the past seven days.
Kennison suffered a life-threatening back injury while snowboarding in the backcountry of Vail. He is paralyzed from the waist down, but that does not stop him from being a daredevil on the mountain. The former snowboarder learned how to sit-ski in 2014 with the non-profit organization, High Fives Foundation.
According to the non-profit’s website, the High Fives Foundation’s mission is to be the “safety net of the outdoor sports community.” The foundation prides itself on being inclusive and not giving up on athletes who have suffered life-changing injuries. Kennison is now recognized as a High Fives skier.
The High Fives Foundation provided Kennison with the resources to learn how to sit-ski and compete in adaptive skier races. With help from the foundation, Kennison was able to participate in the Special Olympics this past year. His performance at the Special Olympics is what helped him secure a spot in the X Games.
Kennison is still very active with the foundation. He has participated at eight different camps and writes blogs frequently for High Fives followers. Kennison has also used his connection with the foundation to help create and design apparel for other sit-skiers with Eddie Bauer. Kennison realized that the outerwear options for sit-skiers are few and far between, and the options that do exist for sit-skiers are not warm enough. Since sit-skiers ride so much lower to the ground, the outerwear designed for the adaptive sport much be warmer than a lot of the outerwear currently being sold.
Kennison’s tagline on the High Fives website is: “Don’t ever give up or stop doing what you love.” He believes that a ski jacket should not prevent sit-skiers from skiing, so that is why he partnered with Eddie Bauer to design a new jacket and snow pants. The set launched into the market on Jan. 26, and will greatly improve a sit-skier’s day-to-day experience on the mountain.
Kennison is an inspiration to so many people. He continues to be a ball of positive energy in every interview he does, and the future looks bright for the talented skier. Keep up with Trevor on his Instagram and Facebook.