GoPro Mountain Games athlete uses slackline skills to perform heroic rescue this past winter (video)
By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
The diverse sports showcased at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail draw world-renowned athletes from every field. But this year, one of those athletes is a little more famous due to some heroic efforts he applied from his sport of slacklining. Mickey Wilson was hopping on a ski lift with some friends to enjoy some fresh powder this past January. Someone in their group got their backpack caught on the chairlift and ended up dangling off the lift ahead of Wilson. Wilson’s instincts sprung into action. He shimmied to the chairlift and was able to release the man from the strap’s hold and into the safety of ski patrol down below. That bravery and reflex comes natural to this Colorado native who was born in Vail and grew up in Summit County and Durango. He eventually went to Golden and graduated from the School of Mines where he got his bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics. “Going to college and getting a physics degree just trains your mind to look at a problem and find a solution,” said Wilson. Finding a solution to a problem was what he did on that overcast morning when his rapid efforts helped save someone’s life. The feat made national news and even landed him an interview on the Ellen show. But Wilson won’t call himself a hero. He was just doing what his studies and his sport have taught him. “I used these skills I developed to save a person’s life. It just goes to show that you might not know what your skills are going to be useful for, but as long as you’re doing things that you’re passionate about, you’re doing something right,” said Wilson. Wilson will be competing in the slackline events at Solaris Plaza and doing demonstrations over Gore Creek. During the concerts he will be highlinging over the crowd at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in between bands. Once you see him in action, you’ll realize why he had no fear during that icy chairlift rescue in January.