Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer quest for Olympic gold was cut short after he broke his neck in a horrible fall during the men’s snowboard cross quarterfinals Thursday.
As he descended from a jump, Schairer’s board started to tilt upward and as he came closer to the ground, he landed with all momentum on his back. In a slow-motion video, his head snaps back and hits the ground before goggles fly off from his mask and he laid for a few moments on the ground. Somehow, he returned to his feet and finished the heat.
Schairer was examined at a hospital shortly after where the Austrian Olympic committee ruled that he broke the fifth cervical vertebra in his neck. Luckily, he suffered no neurological issues.
At the time of the crash, Schairer, 30, was in fourth place. He will be transported back to Austria for medical treatment “as soon as possible,” according to the committee.
He is listed in stable condition.