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Levi LaVallee released from hospital

12/24/2010
LaVallee was training for a record-breaking snowmobile distance jump -- scheduled for New Year's Eve -- when the accident occurred. Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Levi LaVallee, seven-time Winter X Games medalist in snowmobiling, has been released from a Southern California hospital and is headed home to Minnesota after sustaining injuries in a practice jump on Dec. 14 in preparation for Red Bull's annual "New Year. No Limits." show.

LaVallee was practicing for a world record distance jump attempt on a snowmobile, which was set to be telecast on ESPN on Dec. 31, live from San Diego, Calif. LaVallee, 28, from Longville, Minn., worked with athlete performance and aerodynamics analysts and engineers leading up to the event. During testing, he jumped 361 feet, eclipsing the existing record of 301½ feet set by Paul Thacker in March 2009. The jump will be submitted for world record certification.

In a statement Thursday, LaVallee confirmed, "I am out of the hospital and on my way home to Minnesota. When I jumped 361 feet during testing, I was pumped and felt I could fly even further at Red Bull: New Year. No Limits.. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way and I will be ringing in the new year a little differently than originally planned. I'm disappointed, but the most important thing is that I'm recovering and hope to get back on my sled soon. Thanks to everyone who has wished me well. The amazing amount of support really means a lot. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"