Star snowboarder Mark McMorris provided a dramatic illustration Sunday of how far he has come just one week after a life-threatening crash in the B.C. backcountry.
The Olympic bronze medallist from Regina posted a pair of photos to Instagram, one showing him hours after the March 25 crash and the second of him sitting on a couch with his brother a week later.
In the first photo, McMorris appears unconscious in a hospital bed, covered in medical apparatus, including a breathing tube.
The second photo, taken on Saturday, shows him shirtless giving a thumbs up alongside his older brother Craig, also an elite snowboarder who was with McMorris when he suffered numerous injuries after crashing off a jump into some trees. Aside from a bandage on his left side, the photo shows little visible evidence of the battering his body experienced.
“Apparently a lot can change in a week,” Mark McMorris said in his caption. “So so thankful to have my life! It was touch and go there for a second and I don’t know how I can thank everyone enough for praying and sending healing vibes.
“I hit a tree in the whistler backcountry a week ago and to be honest I was pretty sure I was going to die.”
McMorris then thanked his brother Craig and friends for “staying calm, building me a nest, and calling search and rescue.”
He added: “I will never take another day on this earth for granted.”
A bronze medallist in slopestyle at the 2014 Olympics, the 23-year-old McMorris suffered breaks to his jaw and left arm, a ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung.
He had to be airlifted off the mountain and underwent two separate surgeries to control bleeding and repair his jaw and arm.
He has said he hopes to be recovered in time for next year’s Olympics in South Korea.