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Last weekend at the Sammy Carlson Invitational at Mt. Bachelor, Ore., former Winter X Games gold medalist Tanner Hall returned to his first competition since injuring both knees three years ago.
"Today is all about fun for me, just feeling the vibe and getting back in the start gate with all of my friends," Hall said about competing at Mt. Bachelor last weekend. "I'm just trying to find the zone again, my first step coming back."
Hall placed fourth in the big air contest, a more than respectable finish for a guy who's been benched since 2009 (his last contest was the February 2009 Winter Dew Tour). At SCI, he threw a double backflip off the jump and did a flatspin 540 on the wallride.
In case you've missed any of Hall's steps in his recovery from injury, here's a summary: He broke both of his tibial plateaus and tore both ACLs at a film shoot in May 2009. He got back on snow in the summer of 2010 at Mt. Hood, Ore., but he says that was too soon and he needed to do more physical therapy.
Over the last couple of years, he's been traveling to Mexico for a controversial treatment called prolotherapy that involves injecting a glucose-based solution into injured ligaments. Last December, he got back in the halfpipe for the first time since his injury and made plans to start competing again in order to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics, where ski halfpipe will make its Olympic debut.
Hall hopes to compete in halfpipe at the Winter X Games, Grand Prix and other contests starting in 2013.
"I'm just taking it day by day and not setting anything in stone," Hall says. "I wasn't even going to do this contest, but I just woke up and I was like, 'How can I not do this?' Being in a comp and having fun just sounds like a good day to me."