Badass Olympic Snowboarder Breaks Neck And Finishes The Race Anyway

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Perhaps because he’s more than familiar with brutally painful crashes, Markus Schairer of Austria didn’t let a broken neck stand between him and the finish line during a quarterfinals race in the men’s snowboard cross at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

The 30-year-old was in fourth place heading into the second-to-last jump of the race, where he lost control midair, landing on his back and neck and fracturing his fifth cervical vertebra.

Like a freaking badass, Schairer then got up and finished the race, though he was formally disqualified.

Although he’d broke five ribs in a crash at the 2010 X Games, and in 2013 had fractured a joint and torn four ligaments in his shoulder, Schairer called his 2018 wipeout “one of the worst” of his life in a recent Instagram post.

Still, his spirits seemed high.


In the medal race, France’s Pierre Vaultier took gold, followed by Jarryd Hughes of Australia and Regino Hernandez of Spain.