March 27 (Reuters) - Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, a bronze medallist at the Sochi Olympics, is in a Vancouver hospital recovering from injuries sustained in a backcountry snowboarding accident, Canada Snowboard said on Monday.
McMorris suffered a fractured jaw, fractured left arm, ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung on Saturday and had to be airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he has undergone several surgeries.
The 23-year-old, who claimed bronze in slopestyle in Sochi, is expected to recover in time to compete at next year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games, where he is expected be a gold medal contender in the new Olympic discipline of Big Air.
The accident marks a dark end to a brilliant season that saw McMorris win three X Games medals and two Crystal Globes, including the Big Air title and another as the overall Freestyle World Cup champion.
“Mark has shown incredible resilience and commitment to recovering from injury and we know that Pyeongchang 2018 will be a strong motivation for his comeback,” said Canada Snowboard’s executive director, Patrick Jarvis in a statement. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Gareth Jones)