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Mark McMorris' journey from coma to Olympic bronze medal

From ESPN - February 11, 2018

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea -- Given 11 months ago Mark McMorris was in a hospital after a horrible snowboarding crash -- in a medically induced coma, coping with a collapsed lung, 17 broken bones and a ruptured spleen -- you would expect his first emotions after winning Olympic bronze Sunday in men's slopestyle would have been utter joy.

But instead the competitor in him overtook pangs of nostalgia.

"I was immediately thinking about things I'd have changed, or wished the judges had changed.But then I needed to pinch myself and with what my last year's been like, people would die for a medal at the Olympics.I mean I nearly did die, so I am pretty stoked."

Thank You Life pic.twitter.com/TdHcIdWzqJ

- Mark McMorris (@markmcmorris) February 12, 2018

As he sat there on Monday he was in the present, having flittered both to the past and future over the past 24 hours. First came mild frustration, then appreciation, excitement and a brief realization of his own mortality. "I saw my mum and my dad, and they said. 'I was standing over you in a coma, eight or nine months ago, you need to be insanely pumped at what happened.' When it all sets in you need to be proud."

A day previous, McMorris' post-event thoughts were "I probably should not be here." But a day on and thoughts a little more settled, he assessed the journey he had been on from near death to Olympic medalist.

"I definitely had those thoughts that it would not be reality," McMorris said. "I kind of have a different outlook on life now. To land a good run and stand on the podium again, it definitely feels special. Yeah, it's definitely a miracle and I am really thankful."

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