Snowboarder Markus Schairer suffered a broken neck in a frightening snowboard cross crash, the Austrian Olympic committee announced in a statement Thursday.
There's been no indication of long-term damage or neurological impairment, the committee’s statement said.
Schairer, who was in fourth place at the time, fell directly on his back during the quarterfinal race’s second to last jump. His head snapped back and hit the ground, sending his goggles into the air. He remained down following impact.
Schairer fractured his fifth cervical vertebrae, the Austrian Olympic committee said in the statement. He did manage to strap back into his board and belatedly finished the course. He’s expected to return to Austria for further testing and treatment.
Schairer also competed in the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games.
Schairer has dealt with injuries throughout his career. His 2007-08 season was cut short after he ruptured the cruciate ligament in his knee and two years later he broke five ribs while competing in the Winter X Games. In 2013, he tore four ligaments and fractured a joint while training.