WINTER PARK, Colo. — Patrick Halgren doesn’t take life too seriously.
That’s because nine years ago, a serious motorcycle crash nearly took his life.
"I had a moment of hope that I would probably live. and that's really the last thing I remember," he said. "Then I woke up a month later."
Moving forward, it brought new perspective.
"It's like I know things most people don't, that there's a direct correlation between struggle and success," he said. "It's right in front of our noses but we don't always see it."
Halgren's struggle came from learning to ski on only his right leg.
The success? That came after he trusted both his twin brother Sven and his father to teach him to adapt to his new predicament.
"When my identical twin brother got me into it, it made me feel human again because I could do things that most people with two legs could do," he said.
"He's a huge reason I'm here, because he got into a similar motorcycle accident and he skied on one leg for three years in Vail, Colorado. He made me go out on this huge old race ski. He went out about 150 feet and said, 'Don't turn until you get to me.' So he just taught me how to ski on one leg basically by just teaching me to go fast and learn my edges."
After moving to Colorado in 2016, it didn’t take long for Halgren to discover his talent ceiling.
"About time," he said with a laugh. "You know, this has been my dream for seven years, at least. I've been telling everyone and their brother that I'm the best, so it's about time that I got good."
Not just good, top North American giant slalom finisher at the World Championships good.
And now Halgren is competing in his first Paralympic Games, representing his family and country.
"To learn what it really feels like to represent a country and give back to the country that's been so good to me," he said. "I haven't been on the US National team, I haven't had a speed suit that says 'USA' on it, so it's time for me to give back."
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