Just a month after soaring to Olympic gold medal heights, Kiwi freeskier Nico Porteous fell right back down to earth after rupturing his knee and requiring surgery.
Despite his high-flying antics, Porteous told 1News his ACL injury actually took place away from the slopes.
“I did it piggy-backing someone, of all things,” Porteous told 1News.
Coming so soon after winning gold in the Olympic halfpipe, Porteous said it took a while for his new reality to register.
“First when I did it, I was quite positive - I had just come off the best season of my life and it’s sort of hard at that point when you're so high up for anything to really drag you down,” he said.
“But after that sort of sunk in and I started to go through more stages of grief, there was a good two-week period there where I was pretty down in the dumps.”
Porteous now faces nine months of rehab grinding it out in the gym while his mates shred the slopes but he’s come to realise it's not all bad.
“I'm off to Europe on Friday,” he said.
“I was originally going over for the Monaco Grand Prix next Sunday. Red Bull are hosting us over there which will be pretty special and sort of a once in a lifetime experience.”
It's the sort of experience that likely involves private jets, super yachts and watching the Formula 1 – something Porteous, like many, has only recently taken an interest in.
“I wouldn't call myself a fan but I say I follow it because I watch Drive to Survive.”
After that, he'll spend five weeks at Red Bull's athlete performance centre in Austria making use of their state-of-the-art facilities to begin his recovery.
In the best case scenario, the 20-year-old will make his comeback at the X Games in January.
As long as he says no to the piggy backs.