Mark McMorris Clinches Bronze in Winter Olympics 11 Months After Near-Death Experience

Prince Singh / 11 February 2018
Mark McMorris

There is saying that goes, ‘where there is a will there is a way’, and Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris has once again proved it. In fact, the saying will be an understatement to his incredible achievement.

The snowboarder earned a bronze medal in the men’s snowboard slopestyle at the 2018 Winter Olympics. It is an achievement that should not surprise many considering McMorris’ track record. The 24-year old has four gold medals in slopestyle from the X Games in Aspen alone, earned a bronze medal in Sochi as well, and a year ago was ranked the No. 1 snowboarder in the world.

So what makes his bronze-earning feat an incredible one. The following Instagram post will make it crystal clear.

Less than a year ago, McMorris was battling for his life after hitting a tree while doing some backcountry skiing in Whistler, British Columbia. The Canadian had suffered a ‘fractured jaw, fractured left arm, ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung’.

“There was fog kind of coming in and out, and Mark, unfortunately, drifted a little bit too far left … and ended up in a clump of trees,” Canada snowboard spokesman Brendan Matthews had said.

“It’s a freak accident, you know, 99.9 per cent of the time he would have landed in the snow and rode away. This time, for whatever reason, just a couple of feet to the left and ends up in pretty much the worst-case scenario,” he had added.

Such was the crash that McMorris feared the worst. The snowboarder had admitted he feared he’d never be able to snowboard again.

“It was not a small tree and (it didn’t have) branches on it. I hit it all on my left side. I did a front-side 360, and as I turned around, it was just like right there. And then it was just — boom. I broke everything, like 16 bones or something in one hit. That’s like a car crash,” he had told CBC.

“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,” he had added.