The Buffalo Bill Downhill is a treacherous skateboarding race in its third year in Golden, Colorado, and while buffaloes are not considered among the obstacles as skaters charge down a steep mountain road at break-neck speeds, deer ought to be. The accompanying footage shows competitor Ryan Vitale racing downhill at 45 mph before being tackled by a deer charging across the road.
The incident occurred just as Vitale and his fellow competitors were approaching the most daunting feature on the course, a 180-degree turn called “The Gooch.” Miraculously, Vitale was uninjured (save for scrapes and bruises) and the deer seemed OK. It’s the same deer that appears at the end of the video, after the switchback turn.
“I was really glad to see both the deer and Ryan were okay,” says videographer Mike Paproski, who shot the footage. Paproski was trying to keep up with his 13-year-old son, Greg, who’s already one of the top downhill racers in the world, when the deer jumped in front of his group.
The annual Buffalo Bill Downhill race has become one of the more prestigious in skating circles. It draws about 200 people each year and racers reach speeds of up to 50 mph. Because several of the hairpin turns send competitors skidding and sliding into the hay bales, the more endearing name for this event is the Buffalo Bill Downhill Blood Spill.
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