Originally published by Club Colorado – The Official Blog of Colorado Ski Country USA
One year ago Mike Shea, paralympic snowboarder and 2014 silver medalist was standing on a podium at Russia’s Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre just 30 miles from the Black Sea. That moment was the realization of a dream of more than four years.
Shea, then donning a shining silver medal, was one third of the U.S. sweep of the debut of Paralympic snowboard cross. Standing with Shea were teammates Evan Strong, gold medalist, and Keith Gabel, who won bronze. If there’s such a thing as “break-out” season in ski and snowboard racing, 2013/14 was it for Shea. His silver medal performance in Sochi frosted a season that included becoming the first overall para-snowboard World Cup Champion and he posted several other first and second place finishes.
But seven years earlier Shea was on the opposite end of the spectrum of an Paralympic silver medalist. He was an alcoholic and addicted to pain medication. It was a road he had been traveling down for the past few years. Selfishness grew, destructive incidents mounted, and family and friends grew tired of being lied to and used. Shea finally reached the road’s dead end in 2006. REQUEST FULL POST