Photography by Thibaut Gravet
“Never” was not an option for Steven Frossard. Even after a horrific accident left him with no sensation in his legs and doctors told him that he may never walk again.
Mantua, a lakefront town in the Lombardy region of Italy, is where the French native’s fate shifted so radically a few summers ago. In late August 2015, spectators held their collective breath while they watched Steven Frossard get violently thrown from his bike. Next came the sharp sound of helicopter blades in the wind as he was airlifted to the nearest hospital. With bones crushed, ligaments torn, and a future shattered in a matter of seconds, Frossard was paralyzed from the waist down. The resulting stillness was a stark contrast to the speed he had always known.
Despite the lack of an optimistic prognosis, the young athlete refused to let the dust settle on a promising career and lifelong passion. He found that the pain was a welcome reminder of what was at stake. In the year following his misfortune, an unscathed spirit fueled his grueling journey towards recovery. Stiff, fibrosis tissue now fills the shallow craters dug by the crash and the surgeon’s scalpel. Today, Steven Frossard has beaten the odds: He is riding again. Decidedly reminding the world, and himself, that his scars are not barriers, but new roads to explore.