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World Record Holder, Thacker and His Road to Recovery Hot

Paul Thacker used to be a banker. He'd wear a tie to work and sit at a desk all day. His next job was a bit different--he became a professional snowmobiler. Signed by Monster Energy, Paul now wears a black and green jersey to work and sits on a snowmobile.

Thacker retired from his position as a banker and began making a living as a professional snowmobiler.

He found success as a freestyle rider but is more prominantly known for his record in the snowmobile distance jump. In January of 2010 Thacker cleared a 301 foot jump (that's a whole football field of air)--shattering the previous world record of 271 feet--which was also owned by Thacker. His record is a feat for vehicle athletes around the world. He is only the second person to jump a vehicle over 300 feet. The other was motorcyclist Ryan Capes.

Obviously there are risks associated with driving a snowmobile upwards of 90 miles per hour and attempting to jump hundreds of feet. A little less than a year after Thacker made his record breaking jump, the risks caught up with him. In what seemed to be a harmless crash, Thacker's chest slammed into his handlebars. He broke several ribs in the accident but the more serious injury was that sustained to his back.

After experiencing no feeling from his chest down, Thacker was rushed to a hospital in St. Paul, MN. He immeadiately underwent surgery to  fuse vertebrae damaged in the injury.

Thacker is now rehabbing in Las Vegas, Nevada where he is enjoying warm weather. It will be a long, difficult road to get Thacker back on his feet, let alone a sled but he is already ahead of his rehab schedule. His sponsor, Monster Energy, is standing by him during the process and with a little luck the upbeat, optimistic snowmobiler will not only be on his feet soon, but also on his sled.


-Colleen Flynn

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