Snowboarder McMorris fractures rib but vows to compete at Sochi Games
ASPEN, Colo. — Olympic gold-medal favorite Mark McMorris of Canada fractured a rib during a crash in the Winter X Games slopestyle finals Saturday – an injury he says will not derail his road to Sochi.
McMorris caught his snowboard on the lip of a rail and landed hard on the bar, then slid down on his right side before hitting the snow. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes before riding down the hill under his own power.
He was treated and released from the hospital, where X-rays showed he had a fractured rib but no other damage.
Several hours later, he released a statement: ”I will continue as planned with traveling to Europe tomorrow and recovering for the Olympics. While I’m sore, I’m continuing on my road to Sochi.”
McMorris finished second on the strength of an earlier run.
Another Canadian, Max Parrot, turned in the winning score (96.33) on his final run, which forced McMorris (95.66) to push harder in his last run to go for the win.
”I lost my focus,” McMorris said a few minutes after the crash. ”It’s too bad because I really wanted to do stuff here.”
If McMorris isn’t able to compete in Sochi, it would help Shaun White, a five-time X Games slopestyle champion. White skipped this year’s X Games so he could train about 100 miles away in Copper Mountain.