Canadian snowboarder wins Olympic medal months after near-death crash

Mark McMorris, of Canada, jumps during the men's slopestyle final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (WTHR) — The bronze medal Mark McMorris won in Sunday's slopestyle event at the Winter Olympics means just a little bit more.

Eleven months ago, McMorris was sure he was going to die after crashing into a tree while riding. The collision left him in a medically induced coma with 17 broken bones, a collapsed lung and a ruptured spleen.

It's a comeback story the snowboarder himself has called a miracle. "I was so close to not being able to snowboard again, and nothing brings me the joy that snowboarding does," McMorris told ESPN.

Just a day before the final, McMorris reflected on how he probably shouldn't even be at the competition. The fact that he walked away with a bronze medal makes it that much more special.

"I kind of have a different outlook on life now. To land a good run and stand on the podium again, it definitely feels special," he said.


He's documented his journey on social media along the way, sharing updates and progress with fans.

First backflip since the accident😊 @craigmcmorris #itson

A post shared by Mark McMorris (@markmcmorris) on


People who have followed the journey are inspired with how it's turned out. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out his inspiration.


McMorris would have loved to get a gold for his second Olympic medal, after winning Bronze in Sochi in 2014, but that prize went to American Red Gerard. Ultimately he said "Being able to inspire others is better than any medal."