In the winter of 1989, Olympic hopeful Muffy Davis headed downhill on Bald Mountain on what she anticipated would be a routine training run. Then, at about 45 mph, she slammed into a safety fence and her life forever changed.

Though paralyzed from the chest down after sustaining serious head and back injuries, the 16-year-old skier—a top-ranked U.S. junior and candidate for the U.S. Ski Team at the time of her accident—wasn’t ready to give up.

Instead, Davis went on to graduate from Stanford University, win medals in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Paralympic Games, enter into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, give birth to a daughter and win back-to-back world titles in handcycling.

She didn’t stop there: After a surgery to fuse her C4 and C5 vertebrae together, she was able to compete in the 2012 London Paralympic Games for the United States, where she broke the Guinness World Record for the most gold medals won in road cycling.

Now, seven years later, Davis represents District 26 in the Legislature and continues to make her mark on the International Paralympic Committee, not to mention her hometown of Ketchum.

With this year’s Idaho Hometown Hero Awards centered around a “Breaking Boundaries” theme, it was only fitting that she would be included in the celebration as a keynote speaker and medal winner.

Sponsored by the JRM Foundation for Humanity, the ninth annual Hometown Hero Awards and gala celebration will take place Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Stephens Performing Arts Center in Pocatello. The goal, according to JRM’s website, is to honor 11 Idahoans who have “exemplified outstanding qualities in both their personal and professional lives” and “preserved and promoted the richness of Idaho.”

The Konner Car Show will begin at 3 p.m., running concurrently with a program of live music at the Performing Arts Center; both will be followed by the 6 p.m. medal ceremony and dinner gala at 7.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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