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Austrian Snowboarder Breaks Neck In Olympics Quarterfinals Race

Markus Schairer of Austria broke his neck during the men's snowboard cross quarterfinals at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Austrian snowboarder Markus Schairer broke his neck during the men's cross quarterfinals at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Thursday.

Schairer fractured his fifth cervical vertebra during the fall, according to a statement from the Austrian Olympic Committee shortly after the accident.

"The good news: Neurological impairments are not present, consequential damage can currently be ruled out," wrote the committee.

The 30-year-old three-time Olympian lost control on the next-to-last jump of the run, soaring into the air with his arms flailing before crashing down and landing on his back. Upon impact, his red goggles split apart and went flying several feet away from his body.

He laid still on the ground for some time, but finally stood up on his own and completed the race. He waved to fans as he crossed the finish line.

Officials added that Schairer had also endured an elbow injury earlier in the run. They said the athlete would soon be transported to Austria for further medical attention.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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