Nightly News | July 16, 2013
>>> finally tonight, the remarkable journey of a young man who beat the odds and got his life back, kevin pierce, a name you may know from our winter olympics coverage. the snow border who seemed headed for great things until a bad day at the end of '09. kevin tibbles has been following pierce since back then, and caught up with him since just before the release of a new documentary that chronicles his recovery.
>> reporter: in the air, a magician destined for the olympic podium in vancouver. and then it all came crashing down. a miscue during a difficult snowboard maneuver called the double cork left kevin pierce near death with critical brain injuries .
>> often we would just sit with him and hold his hand for hours.
>> reporter: an arduous rehab with one goal in mind.
>> things are going so well. i'm well aware now, it's taken me a long time to come to grips with it.
>> reporter: he proudly showed off his first board and spent the afternoon skateboarding with his brothers, including david who has downs syndrome .
>> reporter: kevin 's compelling journey back to health is now the subject of an hbo documentary.
>> neurologically, you cannot afford to hit your head.
>> don't get me wrong, i really appreciate the help i've gotten from doctors, but it comes a point where i'm ready to release from it all. get me out of here, enough's enough.
>> reporter: but it is brother david who questions kevin 's hope of competing again.
>> i don't want you to do it. is that what you want?
>> it's not worth it to put myself in that kind of risk and put my family in that situation where i could get hurt again.
>> reporter: he offers encouraging to others with brain injuries .
>> you're open to helping others. i feel like you've come such a long way.
>> reporter: kevin pierce still hits the slopes not to compete, but to celebrate. the incredible bond with a family he still holds so dear. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago.