Austrian Markus Schairer breaks neck during snowboard-cross event in horrifying crash at Winter Olympics

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NBC Sports

  • The Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer was involved in a horrifying crash on Thursday during the men’s Olympic snowboard-cross competition.
  • Schairer lost control in midair near the end of the run and landed directly on his back.
  • Schairer broke a bone in his neck but is now said to be in stable condition.

The Winter Olympics featured another terrifying crash on Thursday, this time in the men’s snowboard-cross event.

Heading into the second-to-last jump of the run, the Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer lost control in the air. He fell to the ground on his back – a hard, sudden crash that sent his goggles flying off his helmet.

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source
NBC Sports

Schairer lay on the ground for a few moments but eventually rose unassisted.

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NBC Sports

He was able to cross the finish line and even waved to the crowd.

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source
NBC Sports

Schairer was later taken to a hospital, where it was determined he had broken his fifth cervical vertebra, in his neck, USA Today reported, citing a statement in German from Austria’s Olympic committee.

While the injury sounds horrible, the committee said Schairer was in stable condition and had shown no signs of long-term neurological damage, according to USA Today.

It’s not the first scary crash we’ve seen in at Pyeongchang 2018. The skiers Matthias Mayer, of Austria, and Lara Gut, of Switzerland, have both tumbled into camera operators since the start of the games, while the ninth curve on the luge track has become one of the most feared spots.