Skier turns life around after hitting bottom in Bend

Arrest leads to rehab --and comeback

Ski pro turns life around

BEND, Ore. - Not all news stories have a happy ending, but in this case, there is.

NewsChannel 21 spoke Tuesday to professional skier John Spriggs, who has managed to turn his life around.

It’s not easy to admit you have a problem, but Spriggs did just that, after a dramatic and very public fall from grace.

"I just wanted to put out my story of what I’ve been going through since the incident that night," he told us by video from his home, in Colorado. "Just to possibly maybe shed light on getting sober and taking something bad and making it good."

The night Spriggs is referring to happened nearly a year and a half ago in Bend, where he was living at the time.

Spriggs, a pro skier and sponsored athlete, was arrested in Bend on charges of assault, burglary and trespassing, among others.

"Professional skier, traveling, not really having a home and just indulging too much in the party scene," Spriggs recalled. "And then just some of the things emotionally that I never dealt with. I think it just came to a head there."

"That was a huge mistake. But that’s not who I am. The past doesn't define who I am as a person right now," he said.

Since then, Spriggs' life has been on a new trajectory.

He pleaded no contest to four charges in July of last year and received three years probation and five days (time served) in jail. The judge in the case agreed earlier this year to shift Spriggs to unmonitored probation, though the conditions remain in effect.

"I've been sober almost a year and half now, which actually includes marijuana, which is different for me," he said. "I have nothing against weed, but just wanted to complete clear my head and just kind of go back to being able to deal with things completely sober."

Spriggs moved to Colorado and spent three months in rehab.

"Accountability has helped me, because I don't want to let myself down -- and other people down as well," he said.

And Spriggs has even returned to skiing — with a new lesson to share.   

"In a scene when it seems impossible to be sober and stay in it, hopefully they can see that it's not impossible, that you can do it -- and it actually is way, way better," Spriggs said.

Spriggs said he hopes that by sharing his story, people in the same boat or on the same downhill slope will reach out for help -- which he suggests doing before something bad happens.

Spriggs currently lives in Frisco, Colorado, where he skis and also enjoys fly-fishing. He said anyone interested in talking to him about his story is welcome to reach out on social media at:

By clicking Submit users are agreeing to follow the Terms of Service
comments powered by Disqus

Recommended Stories