Canada's Mark McMorris wins bronze 11 months after near-death crash
12 February, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Cary Erickson
Pyeongchang: Eleven months ago Mark McMorris was fighting for his life after breaking 17 bones and suffering a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen in a snowboarding accident.
In women's hockey, Rebecca Johnston and Melodie Daoust each scored twice as Canada opened its quest for a fifth straight Olympic women's hockey title with a 5-0 win over the Olympic Athletes from Russian Federation.
The 24-year-old staked an early claim for the most inspirational story at the Pyeongchang Winter Games in the snowboard slopestyle, sealing third behind compatriot Max Parrot, in silver, and Amercian teenage gold medallist Red Gerard. McMorris took third after putting up a score of 85.20 in his second run.
"This is wonderful!" Vonn tweeted to her 987,000 followers.
En route to winning both of his Olympic medals, McMorris has demonstrated a degree of resiliency that is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
"I was pretty sure I was going to die", recalled the Canadian snowboarder, who had mistimed a jump and struck a tree in mid-air. I'm a little bit disappointed that I didn't have more to give today.
"I said to myself, 'Listen Max, you fell two straight times".
"I was just trying to catch that guy in front of me".
McMorris's career was very much on the upwards trajectory. The first time they've played together was the trials in January and now they are two wins away from Olympic gold.
Fast forward to March 25, 2017.
His multiple fractures included to his jaw, left arm, pelvis and ribs and he was placed in a medically induce coma. Yet on November 25, 2017 he battled back to win the big air competition in Beijing in his first competition back.
After all that, he said Sunday that bronze felt like winning gold. I went bigger the last jump and I think the judges liked it, so I'm happy. The bronze medallist in slopestyle at Sochi - where he rode on a recently broken rib - crashed into a tree in the Whistler backcountry previous year, shattering several bones and requiring multiple surgeries to correct life-threatening injuries.
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