Tanner Hall is a legend in the snow community for being one of the athletes that pioneered the sport of freestyle skiing. Hall held the record for the most Winter X Games medals — winning seven gold and four silver — for 11 years.
Hall is also known for having two almost career-ending injuries. His first major wreck was in March 2005 when he came up short while trying a trick over the legendary Chad’s Gap in Wasatch backcountry in Utah. He broke both ankles and both heels, with doctors telling him he would never ski the halfpipe again.
Hall said he was more determined than ever to prove them wrong. Less than a year later, he won another gold medal at the X Games, and then two more after that.
His next injury put him out for longer. He was in Washington when he overshot a landing and broke both of his tibial plateaus — the part of the lower leg right below the knee — tore the anterior cruciate ligaments in both of his knees and suffered severe articular cartilage damage in his right knee.
This time, the doctors said this injury would be career-ending.
Hall said it was the darkest time of his life. Not only was he trying to recover from his injuries, but he got addicted to alcohol and drugs to help him escape.
To make matters worse, his best friend CR Johnson passed away from a ski accident. He said this was the eye-opener he needed in order to quit the drugs and alcohol.
Fast forward 10 years: Hall is still skiing while he travels the world competing in the Freeride World Tour.
In this podcast episode, Hall shares how he got into the sport of skiing, some of his greatest accomplishments, how he overcame what should’ve been two career-ending injuries, where he’s at with his recovery and what it’s like being one of the oldest athletes on the Freeride World Tour.