Brett Turcotte wrecked his dirt bike in Oliver, B.C. last summer and spent nearly two weeks holed up at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.
He broke his tailbone, fractured his foot and lost nearly 50 per cent of his blood.
On Jan. 26, he completed one of the greatest runs in snowmobiling history to place first in freestyle at the X Games in Aspen, CO and claim his second gold medal at the event, the other coming in the speed and style competition on Jan. 25.
“This year, I had to recharge the batteries and kind of dig deep,” said Turcotte, who plans to attend a hillclimb event in Sun Peaks in April. “I was pretty banged up this summer.
“It’s quite the accomplishment for not only me, but for my family. It’s positioned me for future things. The ball has already been rolling. I’ve been answering my phone all day.”
The 30-year-old Clearwater product was on his way home from Aspen when he spoke to SPIN, driving in his truck along with wife Niki and daughter Hudson, a one-and-a-half-year old who was starting to voice her displeasure with the long haul.
She isn’t quite old enough to realize daddy brought home the bacon.
A sizeable cheque came along with the prestige of winning two gold medals at the Games. Turcotte declined to cough up an exact figure, but several snow sports websites suggest each gold medal is worth about $50,000.
The five-time X-Games medallist (Turcotte won silver in snocross in 2008, bronze in snowmobile freestyle in 2016 and silver in snowmobile best trick in 2017) runs an action sports training facility, The Turcotte Compound, in Clearwater and will be playing host to an event on March 3.
There will be a freestyle demonstration and a drag-racing competition open to the public, with all proceeds going to charity. Email email@example.com for more information.
What a great week of events at @xgames 2018! This has been the hardest season leading into this event, with being injured all summer and not knowing the level I could compete at. I️ put my head down and went to work and had the best week of my life here, all the support, all the sponsors, my family, friends, THANK YOU! This is truly an experience I’ll never forget. Looking forward to upping my ability on the snowbike, but hey, I guess I️ did pretty good for only riding it one day before the contest, flipping it this morning was a feat in itself after landing on my head numerous times the day before coming here in the foam pit. You can bet im already planning for next year, to come back and repeat and defend my gold medals! Special thanks to my beautiful wife @nikitturcotte and my amazing mechanics @shittynik @poirier606 @beachcomber_46 for keeping my head on straight and crushing these goals.
Perhaps those who attend will get a look at what it took to top the podium in Aspen.
At the freestyle event on Jan. 26, Turcotte went side-saddle before the jump on the first trick of his second run. After launch, he spun 360 degrees in mid-air and returned to his seat before stomping the no-hands landing.
It was a key element in his set, which will likely be emulated by a host of snowmobilers aiming to steal his crown next year.
“I’m looking forward to getting back home to backcountry and letting the stress dissipate of doing backflips every day for a month straight,” said Turcotte, who trains with Greg Kozoris of Kozoris Acceleration in Kamloops. “It gets to be pretty wearing on a guy.”
After a deep breath at home and a few rips in the Clearwater bush, Turcotte will turn his attention to striking while the iron is hot on the business side.
“I’m already looking forward to next year and scratching my head and figuring out where I want to take my career and how hard I want to push myself,” said Turcotte, who also placed fifth in the snow bike best-trick competition on Jan. 28. “I don’t think I can afford to sit on my hands at this point.”