Austrian snowboarder breaks neck in scary crash at Olympics

Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer fractured the fifth cervical vertebra in his neck during a scary crash Thursday at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Schairer lost his balance while hitting a jump in a snowboard cross quarterfinal race and flew through the air with his back facing the ground. His neck made first impact with the snow. Schairer was still able to finish the race.

Markus Schairer’s neck made first impact with the snow during Thursday’s quarterfinal race.

(Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Austrian Olympic Committee announced in a statement that no neurological damage was initially detected.

Schairer, 30, also suffered an elbow injury in a crash earlier in the run. He was being transported to Austria for further medical assistance and evaluation, according to the statement.

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Schairer has suffered a number of grisly injuries during his snowboarding career. According to his Olympic profile, Schairer fractured a joint and tore four ligaments in his left shoulder after falling in practice in 2013. He broke five ribs in a crash at the 2010 Winter X Games in Aspen, also during a quarterfinal race. And in 2008, he ruptured a ligament in his knee.

pyeongchang olympics 2018
sports injuries

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