Mark McMorris did an interview with The Times Colonist and filled in a bunch of details about the snowboarding accident back on March 25 that left him with life threatening injuries including breaks to his jaw and left arm, a ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung.
Here’s what we learned from the interview. The crash was caused by a last second edge digging into a patch of soft snow on a take on a Whistler BC backcountry kicker. The small mistake sent McMorris uncontrollably drifting too far left in the path of a tree:
“I just whacked it out of mid-air. 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.”
His outlook was grim after the impact laying in the snow waiting for rescue:
“I didn’t think I’d ever snowboard again when I was laying there after I hit that tree. 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.”
His recovery has been hard fought and quite remarkable. After 10 days in a hospital, McMorris was released but quite limited physically for about a month. He started the rehabilitation process in the Vancouver area and currently spends at least 2-3 hours per day on a “heavy” gym routine and hydrotherapy work. McMorris, 23, was on a liquid diet for six weeks, eating mostly smoothies and soup but has put back on most of the weight and muscle he lost over the spring. Mark had this to say about his rehab sessions:
“It hurts so bad and I hate it every time. But when I leave I’m so happy. I’m like, ‘OK that’s one step closer to doing what I actually love and what brings me ultimate joy.’ Also it brings me everything I’ve been able to experience in life. I can’t be average. I need to be like a super-human again. That’s what I’ve been working towards.”
McMorris was the overall champion and won the World Cup Crystal Globes last season in the new Olympic discipline of Big Air. If his rehab goes to plan and he recovers in time, McMorris will likely be a medal favorite in both Big Air and slopestyle competitions in South Korea. Best of luck Mark, we are pulling for ya big time!
[images from markmcmorris instagram]