February 8th, 2017

Colten Moore Road 2 Recovery Fundraiser

Colten Moore Recovery Fund

After watching fellow competitor Heath Frisby come up short on a double backflip attempt at X Games last month, it must have taken some guts for Colten Moore to talk himself into following up with his own attempt. With 27,500 people in attendance that day, the pressure Moore must have faced to perform at the world’s premier snowmobile freestyle event was surely tremendous.

It’s not news that Moore injured himself on the attempt, and has been in recovery ever since. There is now a Road 2 Recovery fundraiser in place to help Moore with the incredible costs of rehabilitation from his injury, which are not covered by insurance.


Crash and Injury

The video of Moore’s Best Trick attempt has since been pulled from YouTube’s X Games channel, but a low quality video of the entire event still exists.


Unlike Heath Frisby, Colten did not under-rotate his double backflip attempt. He did the opposite, landing heavy from so much height, track first. His body compressed hard through the seat, dislocating his T-12 vertebrae which caused a bruising of his spinal cord.

Spinal cord injuries are very serious, and can often result in paralyzation. Luckily, Moore has been up and walking since the crash. However, the injury and subsequent surgery to repair it has resulted in complications that will require extensive rehabilitation at a specialized spinal cord recovery center, and insurance won’t be footing the bill. Moore’s costs are anticipated at around US$175,000.


Read more about Moore’s recovery plan and the fund to cover it here. If anyone is in a position to help Moore recover from the crash, you can donate via his Road 2 Recovery fund there.


Who is Responsible?

Who should be responsible for the costs of the athlete who puts his own health at risk at an event like this? Should the burden be solely on the athlete? What do they gain by competing there? Exposure and some small amount of prize money?

This raises the question of who stands to profit with an event such as this? Is it the organizers? The owners of the broadcast rights? The event sponsors? Or the companies that support the athletes themselves?

Someone is making money off this event you can be sure, or else it probably wouldn’t exist. And some organization is making profit by leveraging the personal risks that the athletes take.

Sadly, the costs of Moore’s rehabilitation will likely come largely from his own family and friends and the community of individuals that applaud his talent and courage.


Let’s make it better

Elite athletes will always push themselves to discover their own limits. But it’s not fair for them to put their health and very lives at risk for the sake of our entertainment and the profit of others. As much as seeing these athletes perform is pretty incredible, we would prefer that it happened in a more safe environment with less potential for catastrophic results. We’d be just as happy to see what Colten Moore can do threading trees in the backcountry, or boosting some windlip into a forgiving pile of soft pow.

Let’s support our athletes to perform in ways that don’t require them to put everything on the line to achieve success. Let’s help them realize their dreams in their own way, and not according to what best suits the interests of the mainstream audience and the corporate agenda.


— MS