CEO of Squaw Valley Ski in Olympic Valley, California Andy Wirth has made an amazing recovery after a mishap that occurred during a skydiving expedition with friends. Wirth, who was an avid skydiver, was forced to land in a vineyard after strong shifting winds make it impossible for Andy to land in his designated safe landing zone. Trapped between the winds and fenced in by power lines on both sides, he was trapped and had no choice but to land in the vineyards of a winery in Lodi, California. The vineyards were not a good landing place and almost cost him his life. He managed to avoid the power lines but the sharp stakes, posts and fences in the vineyard mangled his right arm and almost killed him. Bleeding profusely Andy Wirth managed to cling on to hope and muster enough strength by remembering the song “Just Breathe” by the band Pearl Jam.
The song helped uplift Andy Wirth when he thought that all hope was lost and that he was going to die. Recalling the lyrics and his family, he managed to reduce the bleeding from his right arm. Andy would eventually recover but he had become a changed man. He spent several months in the hospital and underwent numerous surgeries. Doctor’s managed to save Andy’s right arm after the severe trauma suffered in the vineyard. Andy Wirth in his time of near death, realized that he needed to spent more time with his family and he has done exactly that. He also penned a letter to the band who’s music helped him survive and push on despite excruciating pain after his hazardous landing.
Well known as being an active and strong man Andy Wirth quickly returned to business and exercise after he got well enough to leave the hospital. Mr. Wirth is a former backcountry ranger and EMT and has participated in numerous triathletes. Getting back to his active lifestyle after such a traumatic experience would be a big hurdle but he found motivation when he encountered US Navy Seals training in his Squaw Valley Ski resort. Both the Navy Seals and Andy Wirth exchanged stories that helped to motivate each other in physical training and in life. Wirth was so inspired by the stories and training alongside the navy seals that he founded the Special Warefar Warriors Group to raise money for the US Navy Seals foundation. Long involved in the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadow Ski resorts and in local issues, Mr. Wirth was also recently appointed as chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board. His long experience in the hospitality and tourism sector combined with his expertise in the Reno and Lake Tahoe region make him an excellent choice for chairman to lead the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board.