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.
Markus Schairer broke his neck and still finished the race. https://t.co/BnNtbvXonN
— Jeremie Poplin (@jeremiepoplin) February 16, 2018
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.
my dream did not come true. i don not bring home gold, silver or bronce. instead i’m wearing my own personal medall now. honestly, i had more than one guardian-angle. i broke my neck (5th cervial spine) at one of the worst crashes in my entire live. luckily there are no neurological deficits, so i will be able to walk soon. when such things happen, you really start knowing whats important! thanks for the massive support from my family, friends, the @olympic_team_austria and all the wishes from all around the world!! big applause for my opponents but friends on the podium @pierrevaultier @jarrydhughes @reginoherma3 #badass #olympics #pyongchang2018 #crash #pain #comminghome #snowboardcross #sbx
In the medal race, France’s Pierre Vaultier took gold, followed by Jarryd Hughes of Australia and Regino Hernandez of Spain.