What does a world class freeskier do when an injury forces him to the sidelines? Go flying of course! KIWI skier Bryan Wells tore his ACL about a year ago when he fell while filming the documentary “Winter of Wells.” It was a season ending injury that Wells told ESPN Playbook really hit hard.
I remember the doc saying, 'I'm just going to test your ACL.' He yanked on my knee and I felt nothing. He didn't even say anything and he didn't have to. I lost it, I haven't cried or been upset over an injury in a long time. Just the thought of not being able to ski for six to nine months hit me so hard.
Wells didn’t stay down for long. Prior to the accident he had expressed an interest in earning a helicopter rating. “I have always wanted to give flying a chopper a go -- I mean who wouldn't? A few people around me told me I couldn't become a pilot, that it would be too hard. All that did was give me more motivation. I was in Keystone filming with Poor Boyz Productions in May last year and when we got done with the heli for the day, I skied down and talked to the pilot. He said, "If you can do what you do skiing then you can fly one of these."
The downtime caused by the injury and the long rehab gave Wells the time he needed to study and fly. He now has his private certificate and says he hopes to earn his commercial ticket by 2015. After 11 months off from skiing Wells says he plans to return to competition but he will just “have to see how the knee feels when the comps roll around.”