Mark McMorris suffers severe injuries on backcountry snowboard trip

A weekend snowboarding trip left Olympic bronze medallist Mark McMorris severely injured.

After wrapping up a successful 2016-17 season, McMorris headed out for some backcountry snowboarding on Saturday. According to Dr. Rodney J. French, Canada Snowboard’s physician, he sustained a jaw fracture, left arm fracture, ruptured spleen, stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and collapse left lung.

Mark McMorris and Max Parrot go 1-2 in big air at X Games Norway on March 11, 2017. (Photo: X Games)

McMorris was evacuated by helicopter to Vancouver General Hospital, and immediately operated on. He underwent a second surgery, Sunday night, for his jaw and fractures of the upper part of his arm.

“While both the mandible and humerus fractures were complicated injuries, the surgeries went very well and both fractures are now stabilized,” said Dr. French.

Mark McMorris launches himself at the top off the ramp at the FIS Snowboard World Cup Big Air event in downtown Quebec City on February 11, 2017.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

While it’s still too early to speculate on his recovery time, McMorris has been known to make speedy returns to competition. In 2016, McMorris broke his femur during a big air event in Los Angeles, which kept him off the slopes for eight months.

Related: McMorris returns for inaugural FIS Super Series

Despite starting the season fresh off an injury, McMorris secured three medals at the X Games as well the FIS men’s big air crystal globe. On the day of his accident, McMorris officially added his second crystal globe to his season, securing the award for the FIS overall freestyle champion.

Mark McMorris after winning 2016 X Games Aspen gold in snowboard slopestyle.

Patrick Jarvis, Executive Director at Canada Snowboard, said he was confident that McMorris would be well prepared for his recovery and return to competition in time for the Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games in February.

“Mark is already under the incredible care of the staff of the Vancouver General Hospital.,” said Jarvis. Mark has shown incredible resilience and commitment to recovering from injury and we know that PyeongChang 2018 will be a strong motivation for his comeback. ”

Mark McMorris celebrates X Games Aspen snowboard slopestyle gold on January 30, 2016.

Join us in wishing Mark the best possible recovery and return to the slopes.