Every 2 years, the Olympics are filled with amazing stories of athletes from around the world who have overcome all sorts of disadvantages, hurdles, or insurmountable situations to get there. It’s one of the biggest reasons the Olympics are so great- we fall in love with random people, from random countries, in random sports and learn about their stories and how they got to become one of the best in the world at what they do. And Mark McMorris is one of the early favorites for best story in this year’s Olympics.
As you saw above, this was Mark McMorris in March 2017, a mere 11 months ago:
Yahoo - McMorris won bronze in the men’s slopestyle Sunday in PyeongChang when 11 months ago he was unsure if he would ever snowboard again.
In March, McMorris was riding in the backcountry near Whistler, British Columbia, when he went off a jump and crashed into a tree, resulting in a broken jaw, broken left arm, ruptured spleen, a pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed lung. The photo above was the result.
According to CBC, McMorris was knocked unconscious from the fall and had to be airlifted to Vancouver for emergency surgery to control his bleeding and also repair the breaks to his jaw and arm.
“I didn’t think I’d ever snowboard again when I was laying there after I hit that tree,” he said. “I was awake and was waiting. As soon as the helicopter got there (90 minutes later) I went to sleep. I remember the whole time waiting, just trying to survive because (I) ruptured (my) spleen and all that and my jaw was just hanging. I was puking. I thought I was going to die — literally.”
Got himself a nice lil’ medal to bring home to ol’ Saskatchewan eh.
Nevermind doing the physical rehabilitation, the mental game to hop right back on the snowboard is what amazes me. But at the end of the day, I guess it’s what separates us extreme athletes from everyone else. All in all, just an incredible story.