This Sunday (5/25) from 3-7, Howlesen Hill’s Olympian Hall will be hosting a birthday party and benefit for Ryan McConnell (pictured above, right), a 22-year-old Steamboat Springs native who is recovering from serious injuries suffered in a fall March 12 while hiking in Arches National Park in Moab, Utah. Food and drinks will be provided.
A note from the McConnell family:
Ryan McConnell is a 22 year old senior at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana studying Construction Engineering. He is a member of Montana State’s Division I ski team, where he just recently finished racing in the 2014 NCAA Championships in Park City, UT culminating a life long career of alpine ski racing, a sport he truly loves. Ryan was born and raised in the beautiful and well-known ski town of Steamboat Springs, CO. Along with his father Tim, mother Wendy, younger brother Will and older brother Cory, the McConnells are actively involved in the Steamboat community as members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, Steamboat Youth Soccer, school athletics and Concordia Lutheran Church. In Ryan’s spare time he, of course, loves to ski and throughout the summer months he is constantly riding his mountain bike, hiking, camping, and fishing with his many friends and also enjoys hunting both back home in Steamboat and up in Bozeman at school. He truly touches the lives of everyone he meets and is loved by all.
In the early afternoon on March 12, 2014 Ryan was hiking with some of his friends at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, where he was spending some much needed time off from school over his spring break. Ryan was walking on top of a plateau-type ridge when the ground underneath him crumbled, making him loose his footing. He then slipped and fell over a rock ledge, falling what we think to be approximately 80-100 feet. The friends he was with at the time of the accident were able to get to him within minutes and help was on the way shortly thereafter. Ryan was airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, CO where he is currently. He sustained multiple injuries including; brain/head trauma, a broken neck and back, lacerated liver and spleen, and bruised lungs. Currently Ryan has been fitted with a “halo” neck brace that he will wear for several months which will allow his neck to heal properly.
Though his injuries are extensive, it is a true miracle and gift from God that Ryan is still with us today. He is one tough kid and on the road to recovery. Ryan definitely has a long journey ahead of him to fully heal, but everyone is pulling for him. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone for your thoughts and prayers, we are truly blessed to have such a supportive community.
The McConnell Family