March 2018 From Death's Door To The Podium
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In February 2018, Mark McMorris stood beaming on the podium in Pyeongchang as he won bronze in the men’s slopestyle event at the Winter Olympics. An elite-level competitor, McMorris wasn’t over the moon with his success, but he admitted to being ‘pretty stoked’. Rewind eleven months, and McMorris was in a medically induced coma after breaking 17 bones, suffering a collapsed lung and a ruptured spleen after crashing into a tree while backcountry snowboarding.
‘People would die for a medal at the Olympics,” said McMorris. “I mean, I nearly did…”
McMorris’ story is well told, but the extent of his injuries were so severe that if it wasn’t for his brother Craig being with Mark and having a satellite phone to contact the emergency services, he may not have been alive to tell the tale. Not only is McMorris a global snowboarding sensation, he’s now a source of inspiration and motivation for those facing adversity around the world.
"It's such a cool thing that people are backing the story," he said. "You can't force that on people. At the time, I wish it hadn't happened, but now it's so cool that so many people have reached out and said, 'You've helped me through this part of my life' or motivated me or whatever it may be.”