Written by Andy Bowyer
Photos by Harlen Foley
There was a lot going on during ATV Dirt Days, but the big headline was Krista Marie’s break out performance on the Loretta Lynn stage. While the concert was a huge success, the story of how Krista was able to even able perform at all is quite astonishing. Just a month prior, Marie was involved in a crash while racing at Muddy Creek in Blountville, Tenn. She sustained several broken bones, including a broken femur, and was hospitalized for over a week. Many told her she wouldn't be able to heal in time for her show at ATV Dirt Days, but her love of the sport and deep will to perform in front of her ATV family fueled her recovery. She wears No. 99 on the track and on the stage. She is arguably the strongest ambassador to the sport of ATV racing. We caught up with her today to talk about her amazing year.
I was riding with a jammed wrist and made a little mistake on a jump. I landed wrong and my foot went through my nerf bar and sent me rolling. I think I broke my femur when my foot jammed down the first time, but the quad just chased me down and attacked me. When the crash was finally over, I had four broken ribs, four broken lower vertebrae, my wrist was broken, as well as my collarbone, and I lacerated my liver. It was quite an experience and I don’t want to go through that again!
I was in the hospital for a week and a half, and now everyone makes fun of me because of all of the hardware I have in my body [laughs]. The big joke at the track now is that I’m “aftermarket” because of all of the titanium. I’m not stock anymore [more laughs]!
At that point the concert must have seemed out of the question, right?
Everybody was telling me that we had to cancel the concert. They were like, “What are you going to do, use a walker to get up on stage?” But, I just told them to please not cancel it. It would just be terrible for me if they canceled it. Then, my management team just told me they would continue as planned so I just focused on my therapy and worked out hard. I think it (the concert) was the reason I was able to heal so quickly.
I mean, it really helped with my physical therapy. When you have a reason to get out of bed in the morning each day it really helps, you know? The ATV community is my family and all I could think about was getting better so I could get back to them. The doctors were impressed; they didn’t expect me to bounce back so quickly, but I just wanted to make that show so badly.
Absolutely. Will I be able to do it on a full national scale? I doubt that, but I’ll be hit and miss and choosing certain events I want race at. I won’t be able to be as competitive as I’d like to be. You know, girls like Michele (Natalie) and Heather (Byrd), they are out there riding and training everyday and I won’t be able to do that. But I’ll still be racing. I’ll never be completely away from the sport. I love it so much. It’s a big part of my life. Also, I want to stay involved and do everything I can to help it grow.
And who knows? If I decide to settle down and get married and have a family I want my kids racing in the motocross world.