2013 Winter X Games: Bobby Brown skis through the pain

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It should go without saying that to be an athlete on just about any level, one must have a fairly high threshold for pain. But freeskier Bobby Brown takes it to the extreme.

Nearly three years ago in Alaska, the four-time X Games gold medalist landed the sport's first triple-cork 1260 (that's 3 1/2 rotations) two months after fracturing his pelvis and three vertebrae during a backcountry film shoot.

"It was just a way faster recovery than I thought," Brown, who will be among the 200 athletes in Aspen, Colo., competing in the 2013 Winter X Games, which air Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 24-27, on ESPN, tells Zap2it. "It wasn't completely broken. It was a pretty serious fracture, and then I fractured three vertebrae in my back, and I just got cleared from the doctors and after like three months was good to go and just kind of put it out of my mind and felt great. I was pretty lucky."

Brown explains that focus is the key for him in working through pain.

"There's a lot on the line, and you've got only one shot to do it," the 21-year-old native of Englewood, Colo., says, "so if you're not going to reinjure yourself and you have no danger of really doing more harm to your injured spot, then it's like why not go as hard as possible and get through it? If you're going to be injuring it by skiing on it, then I'll definitely sit it out because longevity is the key. But other than that, you just kind of put it out of your mind and do it."

Brown is just getting over a broken right ankle he suffered in a summer training crash at Mount Hood, Ore. At the time of the injury, he had been working out with Loren Landow, a professional trainer who counts NFL quarterback Tim Tebow and Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin among his clientele, to strengthen his body against the pounding of hitting jumps.

"I was getting hurt a lot," Brown says, "and after [training] with him I kind of tightened things up and feel actually really good getting on my skis. And he's definitely had a key role in the rehab of my ankle, too."
Photo/Video credit: ESPN
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