Austrian Markus Schairer Breaks His Neck in Horrifying Olympic Snowboard Cross Crash

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There are no neurological impairments, and no risk of further damage, the Austrian Olympic Committee announced.

Schairer fractured the fifth cervical vertebrae, and the impact caused his head to whip back and his goggles to fly off. After lying on the ground for a few moments, Schairer somehow got back on his board and finished the race not knowing that he had just broken his neck, The New York Post reports.

"The good news: Neurological impairments are not present, consequential damage can now be ruled out".

The Winter Olympics have been criticised in recent days for competing through the windy conditions and, yesterday, a Japanese snowboarder suffered a shocking crash in the finals of the men's halfpipe competition. "In addition, the Vorarlberger pulled an elbow injury".

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The Australian was expected to make a trip back to Austria for more treatment and evaluation "as soon as possible", The Austrian Olympic Committee said.

The jump and Schairer's fall can be seen clearly in a slow-motion video circulating on social media.

But, incredibly, the 30-year-old former world championship gold medallist returned to his feet to finish the race.

Schairer will return to Austria with medical assistance. He says this was one of the worst crashes in his entire life. While training in 2013, Markus fractured a joint and tore four ligaments in his left shoulder.