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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Updated: September 28, 11:40 AM ET
Danny Davis: for the record


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Davis was considered a lock for the U.S. Olympic Team before the accident.

It's been eight months since Danny Davis sustained serious injuries when he crashed his ATV following a late night celebration after a Winter Dew Tour win at Snowbasin in Utah. The accident abruptly ended Davis's season and plans for the Vancouver Olympics, where he was a strong contender for a gold medal in halfpipe for the U.S. Team. Weeks earlier Davis's good friend and fellow Olympic medal favorite Kevin Pearce sustained a brain injury during a fall while practicing in Park City, Utah, on New Year's Eve. In the meantime, both members of the shred collective known as the Frends have been healing at home -- Pearce in Vermont, and Davis in Truckee, Calif. Catching up with Davis, 22, by phone during a camping trip in the Pacific Northwest, he explained how blue grass music and skateboarding fit into his recovery regimen. And although he hasn't strapped in again yet, Davis looks forward to linking tracks soon, especially with his neighbor Jeremy Jones.

ESPN: Describe the full extent of your injuries and how your recovery has gone so far.
Danny Davis:
I had a spinal fusion of vertebrae two, three, and four. I shattered my pelvis so I had a plate and like ten screws in my pelvis. I couldn't walk on my left side, but I could walk on my right side. I had a back brace for three months. I started hiking about four months into the recovery and now I'm skating and hiking, and swimming, and everything.

Set the record straight: What happened on the night of your accident?

I don't remember much because I think I got knocked out. My friend kind of told me -- he beat up his leg and broke his femur. Really the only stuff I remember is getting on the four-wheeler and ending up in the hospital. I talked to the guy that rescued us, so I have a little better idea of what happened: I was driving. We had been driving up this road. My friend said we were pretty chilling at first, because we had hit some snow, so we were cruising around and sliding on the snow. Eventually we came up over [a] hill. It was pretty dark out. I think we hit a dry spot and then we had 20 or 40 feet of dry and the quad picked up and we went right into the fence. I woke up in the hospital.

You were riding your best at the time. You had won back-to-back contests, and were a lock for the Olympics. What was your first thought when you regained consciousness in the hospital?
I was like, man, I blew it. I was so pissed at myself. That night I had won a contest. We were on such a high from that. The first thing I remember thinking in waking up is like, I am such an idiot.

Still, it seems like you have a positive state of mind now. How did Kevin Pearce's injury and miraculous recovery affect your mood?
I never was too bummed because I was alive and I was going to walk. This whole recovery hasn't been "Woe is me, I didn't get to go to the Olympics." It was like, look at what my friend Kevin has gone through and he wasn't even being an idiot like I was. He was training. He was being a diligent, dedicated snowboarder learning tricks. I was feeling so thankful that he's walking and talking, riding a bike. He told me that he did a kickflip on a skateboard the other day. Right when I got hurt, when I was still in a wheelchair, I went and saw him in the hospital because we were both in hospitals in Utah. It just put everything into perspective. Kev will be able to snowboard again. I will be able to snowboard again.

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It will take more than an ill-timed, career-altering accident to get this guy down.

Did you watch the Olympics on TV?
I did, for the first time in my life. I had never watched the Olympics before because it's so boring, like why do I want to watch curling? It was cool to watch Scotty [Lago] get his bronze medal. And Shaun [White] rode amazing obviously. I would have liked to see Louie [Vito] and all my other buds do better, but it's cool to just watch the whole country be behind it, too. My dumb ass, I had to miss it.

Do you already have your sights set on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia?
I've got years until I need to make that decision. I would love to if my body allows me and my back allows me. I don't want to make it a goal of mine because what if I can't get to that point, or I don't want to get to that point? Everyone's been asking, are you going to do this contest and that contest? I really have no idea what I'm going to do. I'm telling everyone I'm going to be splitboarding for the first three months of the year because I know I can do that. If all's going well, maybe I'll start to do a contest here or there. I think I'm going to try to make a movie project with Analog -- just riding some halfpipe, freeriding, maybe a segment with Jeremy Jones. Hopefully I can hook that up. He's my neighbor. It's nice to have nice neighbors.

Jeremy told me back in June that you had some big backyard skatepark plans.
It's so funny. We did dig like a 6-foot deep, 25-by-65-foot hole. It was going to be a skate bowl, concrete. I thought I could do it on my own. Then I started building a garage, and the town came by to survey the land for that and they saw the hole. I was like, the hole was here when I moved here. And they were like, no, we don't have any record of that on our map. So we had to fill the hole in so I could finish the garage.

What's new with the Frends?
What's been keeping us busy is launching the Frends headphones. They should be in stores in early October, I believe. It's been Keir [Dillon] and those guys in the office, kind of getting everything ready, going to trade shows. It's been cool building that side of a company -- the business side. We get in arguments with Keir. He's kind of like dad. We're like, we want to do this, and we want to do that, and he's kind of like, Guys!

Are the Frends forming a band?
We've all been trying to learn to play some banjo. Luke [Mitrani] got a mandolin two weeks ago and he's been ripping. We've got two drum sets. We'd love to start a band, but I suck and those guys are really good, so it's hard for us to jam.

What's your musical inspiration?
Neil Young and Led Zeppelin, and The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles. Lately we've been getting into blue grass. Jerry Garcia was in a band called Old and in the Way. That band, and the other bands into blue grass too, like Trampled by Turtles, and Old Crow Medicine Show. We've been jamming to that and going to a lot of festivals where they play a lot of that. Still, a lot of our inspiration comes from classic rock. None of that hip-hop, rap.

Do the Frends headphones refuse to play hip-hop?
Mason [Aguirre] listens to that stuff and Scotty's into that. The headphones are for whatever makes your ears happy. What makes my ears happy is classic rock, blue grass, that kind of stuff. That's the good thing about our crew. We're all the best of friends, but we're quite different when it comes down to it.

Snow could start dumping around Tahoe real soon. Will you be ready to go?
Hell, yes. My doctor gave the ok to cruise. If I go out for the first day and I just cruise and take six laps, that's about all I'll do for that day. And the next day I'll see how my back feels. The doctor has been pretty adamant about that -- taking it easy and not pushing it too quickly, too hard.