Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia: one tough cookie

Far be it from a snowboarding wipeout to stop Lt. Joe Garcia from performing a variety of duties.

Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talks to the University of Colorado Board of Regents with a sling on his injured shoulder. (Michael Carrigan photo)
Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia talks to the University of Colorado Board of Regents with a sling on his injured shoulder. (Michael Carrigan photo)

The crash happened on Feb. 13 in the Grand Tetons when Garcia was snowboarding with his youngest son. Garcia couldn’t get in to see a surgeon until nearly a week later, on Feb. 19, to repair his separated shoulder and torn ligaments.

“I’m still staying pretty busy,” said Garcia, who doubles as Colorado’s lieutenant governor and director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, posts he plans to give up before July 1.

Garcia had planned the trip to Wyoming to see his 26-year-old son Jose a long time ago. “My youngest son was telling me how great the snowboarding was,” Garcia said. The trip turned out to be on the same day as the Colorado Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner, which is why Garcia missed speeches by presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

“But we ended up in a bad situation,” he said today of the outing. “It was unbelievably foggy whiteout conditions where we couldn’t even see the ground I was standing on. It was very disorienting. ”

Garcia said he didn’t even know he was falling until he hit the icy ground “so hard” he realized right away that his shoulder was “popped.”