Former freestyle skier on the rebound 

Crane-Mauzy, injured at WSSF, takes on next chapter

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - BOUNCE BACK Former freestyle skier Jamie Crane-Mauzy has forged ahead after a terrifying injury here in Whistler in 2013.
  • Photo submitted
  • BOUNCE BACK Former freestyle skier Jamie Crane-Mauzy has forged ahead after a terrifying injury here in Whistler in 2013.

Jamie Crane-Mauzy's life would never be the same after a devastating crash.

After her horrific fall during the slopestyle competition during the 2015 World Ski and Snowboard Festival caused a traumatic brain injury and weeks of rehabilitation, Crane-Mauzy is working to ensure the change is for the better.

The 23-year-old is currently attending Westminster College in Salt Lake City taking management and ceramics while also training to become a motivational speaker. She is set to speak at a media conference in Vancouver on July 19 and hopes to enjoy a couple of days in Whistler this weekend.

The Utah resident has given four speeches to this point and is working with a coach from Westminster and attends Toastmasters meetings weekly to constantly develop her presentation.

"My goal and my dream is to be a motivational speaker at different business conferences," she said. "I talk about how, when you're growing up, what superhero or demigod did you look up to that could take on the world. Then I ask you to envision all their strengths. Then I ask you to envision all their weaknesses.

"Every single person overcomes the biggest struggles in order to live. Everyone has struggles and fears and what they do is they set goals in the direction to overcome that," she said.

"Set one goal you know you can accomplish tomorrow, accomplish it, and don't look at how far you have to go, where you came from, or why did this happen to you, either good or bad. Just set those goals and walk in the direction you want to walk in until you're living the life that you've always dreamed about."

Naturally, she takes plenty from her own story on stage.

"I had to set so many goals and couldn't be, like, 'Why did this happen to me?'" she said. "When I was just learning to walk (again), while I had so far to go, I had to set one goal that I knew I could accomplish and then accomplishing that..."

Crane-Mauzy is also working as a coach at the National Ability Center in Park City, a progression from where she was last year, when she was there completing all the challenges. After volunteering with the applied freestyle and racing programs, Crane-Mauzy applied to be a staff member and primarily has been instructing paddle sports this summer.

When returning to snow for the first time, she credited the organization's solid 30-year reputation with giving her neurologists confidence they'd keep her safe.

"I improved very quickly, so every run was an improvement on the run before. I never went back to having to snowplow, but on my first run, I was at (the) First Time (lift), green circle, very basic at the bottom of the mountain," she said. "They let me progress as fast as I wanted to to get good again.

"I went with them for a couple months and then I graduated. I didn't need to ski with them anymore because I could ski down black-diamonds."

Crane-Mauzy returned to Whistler this spring for the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, where she said she was treated like a VIP. She also met several of those who helped her.

"It was also really emotional because I also met my first responders, the Blackcomb Ski Patrol, for the first time. I met the guy who was sitting on me when they brought me to the helicopter, pumping air into my lungs because I had started erratically breathing," she said. "My first responders were saying 'After you flew away in the helicopter, we actually wrote up your fatality report because we thought you had a one-in-a-miracle chance of surviving. We didn't think you were going to even make it to the hospital.'"

She added they were determined to make the miracle happen: They told her they had just attended a convention about fighting for the best, even if it has the smallest per-cent odds of working out.

Crane-Mauzy doesn't plan to return to competition because of the great risks involved. However, she hopes to do some backcountry jumping on camera to be a trailblazer for women.

"My goal is to connect with one of the film companies that's doing a movie and have a segment in it. I can do 360s and backflips and flat-threes," she said. "(I want) to tell a motivational story through the video."

Lastly, recalling the kindness she and her family experienced in the chaos following her injury, Crane-Mauzy and her sister are starting a non-profit called First Family Flights to financially support the family members of a young person who is hospitalized in a coma due to a brain injury far from home.

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