McMorris breaks rib in slope crash


ASPEN, Colo. -- Canadian rider Mark McMorris, a slopestyle favorite heading into the Sochi Winter Olympics, fractured a rib on his right side in a crash during Saturday's X Games Aspen Snowboard Slopestyle final, X Games medical staff confirmed Saturday.

"Thank you to everyone for your concern," McMorris said. "After thorough discussions with my team of doctors and a number of medical specialists, and my physical therapist and coaches, I will continue as planned with traveling to Europe tomorrow and recovering for the Olympics. While I'm sore, I'm continuing on my road to Sochi."

A statement released through Red Bull, his sponsor, said tests revealed no further internal injuries and that McMorris had been released from the hospital.

McMorris, the X Games Aspen 2012 and 2013 Slopestyle gold medalist, clipped a rail near the top of the slopestyle course in his third and final run, landing on his side farther down the rail. He was able to ride down the rest of the course under his own power but was later transported to a nearby medical facility for further evaluation.

"I'm sore. I just pray to God I'm OK and it's nothing serious," McMorris said after the crash. "It's too bad. I must have lost train of thought of what I was doing. I wasn't in focus."

McMorris still managed to finish in the silver medal position on Saturday behind fellow Canadian rider Max Parrot. It's McMorris' fifth X Games Slopestyle medal and his seventh medal in just five X Games appearances.

It's been a big year for McMorris, who opened the 2013-2014 season with a slopestyle win at the Dew Tour event at Breckenridge in December. Last year, he was the top-ranked slopestyle rider on the 2013 World Snowboard Tour.

McMorris heads up the Canadian men's slopestyle team heading into Sochi, along with Parrot, Seb Toutant and Charles Reid.