Snowboarder breaks neck in horrifying crash during Winter Olympics

An Austrian snowboarder's Olympic dreams came to a halt on Thursday after crashing and ultimately breaking his neck during a quarterfinals competition.

Brittany King

Austrian snowboarder, Markus Schairer, was gliding down a slope at Bokwang Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea, during the mens snowboard cross quarterfinals when he lost control mid-air. He wound up crash landing directly on his back and slamming his head into the snow.


The accident left Schairer unable to move for minutes until he reportedly sat up, strapped on his board and somehow finished the race. He was quickly taken to a local hospital where it was determined he broke the fifth cervical vertebra in his neck. 

I broke my neck (5th cervical spine) at one of the worst crashes in my entire life.

Schairer posted a selfie on Instagram a day after the crash and assured worried fans that hes going to be okay. He suffered no long-term neurological damage, but the injury meant his Olympic run was over.


"My dream did not come true. I [did] not bring home gold, silver or [bronze]. Instead, Im wearing my own personal [medal] now," he wrote alongside a black and white selfie from his hospital bed showcasing his neck brace. "Honestly, I had more than one guardian [angel]."


"I broke my neck (5th cervical spine) at one of the worst crashes in my entire life. Luckily there are no neurological deficits, so I will be able to walk soon," the post continued. "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!!"


The 30-year-old signed off by adding, "Big applause for my opponents but friends on the podium."