SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. (KDVR) — The snow fell steadily as George Kellogg carved his way down the slopes at Snowmass Ski Resort.
“Being able to feel that adrenaline rush of hitting the half-pipe again, doing the jumps, and just having fun being yourself at the park, it’s like being a kid again,” Kellogg said while he tried to catch his breath after a run.
Freedom for Kellogg is two outriggers and one ski, also known as three-track skiing. It’s an adaptive form of the sport, designed for people missing a leg.
“I feel like a fighter pilot,” Kellogg joked. “(It feels like I’m) going 80 to 90 miles an hour, as fast as I can.”
Ten years ago, Kellogg, a former Marine and Purple Heart recipient lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident that occurred while he was driving home from his job as a bartender in Houston, Texas.
“Without it, I didn’t have purpose or direction. I didn’t know what to do,” Kellogg admitted.
That changed in 2016 when he was introduced to three-track skiing at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village. It didn’t take the 31-year-old long to learn how to ski.
“(Learning to ski) put me at peace and at ease with it. And it’s just part of who I am now. I don’t even think I would get a real leg if I could,” Kellogg said. “I’d have to re-learn how to ski.”
Skiing saved Kellogg’s life and, believe it or not, it was through the sport of skiing that he met his wife.
“He did, lucky for him,” Gemma Kellogg laughed.
And, lucky for Gemma, who is just as competitive as her husband. She hopes to become New Zealand’s first woman sit skier to compete in the Paralympics.
“(Meeting George) was fantastic because if we have nothing to do we can have a day on the mountain and ski it out,” Gemma joked.
While the couple waits for their opportunity to compete for a spot in the 2026 Winter Paralympic Games, Kellogg has other big plans.
“I want to open my own adaptive program. I want to help people. I want to give back. I want to share the experience I’ve been given,” Kellogg said.
The Granby resident hopes he can help other disabled athletes experience the freedom he feels on the slopes.