Vail’s Del Bosco takes hard, successful road to Canadian Olympic team |

Vail’s Del Bosco takes hard, successful road to Canadian Olympic team

XGAMES31-- Brady Leman, left, Dave Duncan, center, and Chris Del Dosco, right, race to the finish, Sunday, during the Skier X Men's Final at the 14th annual Winter X Games in Aspen. RJ Sangosti/ The Denver Post

ASPEN – The U.S. Ski Team’s prospects in skicross at the Vancouver Olympics dimmed considerably at the Winter X Games, but one Colo-radan got a big boost out of them.

Daron Rahlves left Buttermilk in an ambulance Sunday after injuring his right hip in a quarterfinal crash. Aspen’s Casey Puckett, who hurt his recently repaired left shoulder in a training run Friday, attended Sunday’s finals with his arm in a sling.

But Vail’s Chris Del Bosco, who will represent Canada at the Vancouver Games, took gold Sunday as Canadians swept the men’s event.

Del Bosco grew up in Vail, racing 11 years for Ski Club Vail alongside Lindsey Vonn and Sarah Schleper, but he has dual citizenship because his father is Canadian. Lucky for him, but he’s even luckier to be alive.

Del Bosco tested positive for marijuana at U.S. nationals when he was 17, earning a two-year suspension that effectively ended his alpine career.

“I made some poor decisions in life,” Del Bosco said.

That drug suspension put him on the path to skicross, where he quickly found a new home.

“This sport just drew me in because it’s the most pure form of racing,” said Del Bosco, 27. “It’s what we did when we were little kids, racing from the top of the mountain to the bottom.”

Soon, though, he was a full-blown alcoholic with multiple DUIs, jail time served and blackouts. Once he was found in a ditch, unconscious with a broken neck.

“We don’t know if I got attacked or if I was drunk or whatever,” Del Bosco said. “I used to black out, so I don’t really know what happened. That’s just what I did when I drank; bad things happened. That was just one of many things.”

Del Bosco finally decided to get sober on Sept. 6, 2006.

“I was headed down a pretty dark road,” Del Bosco said. “I finally came to a point where I had to sink or swim and figure it out. I chose to figure it out. It’s been pretty amazing from there.”

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