FanDuel - WFBC

January 30, 2013

X Games Snowmobile Rider in Critical Condition: Although he walked away from the huge snowmobile crash he suffered Thursday during the Winter X Games and was diagnosed with a concussion, Caleb Moore developed bleeding around his heart and brain complications and is hospitalized in critical condition. The 25-year-old athlete crashed while doing a backflip and his 450-pound Polaris snowmobile landed on him. "The prognosis is not good at all. It's almost certain he's not going to make it," his grandfather Charles Moore told the Denver Post. No competitor has died during the 17-year history of the Winter X Games.

posted by rcade to extreme at 02:11 PM - 18 comments

I saw that live and thought for sure he was a goner then. Until he got up and walked away. I guess he wasn't as lucky as I thought. I hope he can pull through.

posted by jdefauw at 03:11 PM on January 30

That's pretty awful to watch.

posted by justgary at 03:26 PM on January 30

Sounds a lot like Natasha Richardson's death. She suffered a head injury skiing and was walking around fine. Then collapsed later. I read at the time that in the medical profession the doctors call them "the walking dead" as they're dying and don't even realise it.

Can't bring myself to watch the crash.

From my own perspective I had internal bleeding in 2010 that crushed my internal organs ultimately causing multiple organ failure, and yet, for about three weeks, there was nothing outwardly wrong with me. I ultimately collapsed from the blood loss.

Human body can be very weird.

posted by Drood at 03:34 PM on January 30

The sad but inevitable has happened.

posted by NerfballPro at 01:46 PM on January 31

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posted by NerfballPro at 01:47 PM on January 31

Sad story.

That being said, doing those types of stunts with a 500 pound machine is a bit ridiculous. Some of these "extreme" sports are getting carried away.

posted by dyams at 03:50 PM on January 31

It seems like a sport where a fatality was inevitable.

While researching how long it has existed, I found something eerie: X Games Snowmobilers Shrug Off Injury Concerns, published after Caleb Moore crashed (I think) but before the severity of his injuries became known.

posted by rcade at 04:45 PM on January 31

Oops: Misread the date of the piece.

posted by rcade at 07:30 PM on January 31

Really sad. At least, he chose to do something with his life that was totally crazy and he seemed to love doing it. I mean that with all due respect, and I applaud him for it.

posted by phaedon at 10:09 PM on January 31

Everything else being equal, it's better to die doing something you loved than die doing something you hated. But it's better than both to do something you love and not die.

Speaking as an X Games know-nothing, I think it seems like total insanity to do flips on those snowmobiles. Why couldn't they chase similar thrills with smaller, lighter vehicles?

posted by rcade at 11:16 PM on January 31

Everything else being equal, it's better to die doing something you loved than die doing something you hated. But it's better than both to do something you love and not die.

I'm certainly aware I can't speak for the dead, and we comfort ourselves with the "he died doing what he loved" cliche, but 25 is so incredibly young. It's difficult to believe that if he had the option of living to an old age and finding something else he loved he wouldn't have chosen that over dying doing this.

I could be very well wrong. Maybe this is the only way he felt alive, but I think a lot of people that make such a claim never really believe it'll happen to them.

posted by justgary at 11:59 PM on January 31

The "he died doing something he loved" thing always struck me as slightly flawed insofar as, in this case, he loved landing big jumps on his snowmobile, he did not love getting it slightly wrong and having the thing land on him. Likewise at the Isle of Man TT where deaths are much more frequent, the same logic gets trotted out, when in fact what the riders love is, to some extent, cheating and avoiding death, not hitting a wall at 180 mph and being engulfed in a fireball. It's a bit of a semantic argument and probably the wrong time to get into it of course.

There's a great way of looking at it in this film, spoken by the wife of a rider killed racing in the TT: "You can't love the death, you can't love the loss, but you can't love the excitement and the thrill without knowing that that's part of it."

posted by JJ at 06:56 AM on February 01

I agree totally JJ. The "died doing something he loved" sentiment seems like more of a coping mechanism for those left behind.

This "pushing the limits" behavior, even when it doesn't result in a tragic death like in this instance, is also causing many young people everywhere to seriously injure themselves, or worse. For every X Games athlete who has facilities to practice crazy stunts, there are thousands of young lunatics trying these things without supervision or safety procedures in place. The various videos and TV shows bringing these fairly severe mishaps to to masses only serves to ensure the limitsmget pused more and more.

posted by dyams at 02:26 PM on February 01

There needs to be some sort of standards body responsible for regulating safety for anything advertised as a sports event. Basically, OSHA for sports. I think that before operating a professional sport (maybe college, too) management should undergo a certification process of some kind, which would emphasize potential types of injuries, their dangers, and the protocols required to clear players before releasing them from care after an injury with a focus on the brain/other at-risk areas.

The danger is unlikely to decrease but higher treatment standards could save lives. (Who knows if it would've in this case.)

posted by feloniousmonk at 02:53 PM on February 01

The "he died doing something he loved" thing always struck me as slightly flawed insofar as

It's flawed for me because no one comes back after dying and says 'well, it was worth it, I wouldn't change a thing'. We're just guessing.

This "pushing the limits" behavior, even when it doesn't result in a tragic death like in this instance, is also causing many young people everywhere to seriously injure themselves, or worse.

Is it? Based on what? Young people are naturally uninhibited anyway. They're gong to be crazy no matter what they see. Reminds me of when Beevis and Butthead took all references to fire out of the show. Pure silliness.

I think every dangerous sport owes it to itself to look at the potential for injury, but I sure hope they don't base it on what kids might try because of it.

posted by justgary at 05:59 PM on February 01

Did you ever watch the MTV show "Scarred"? Kids jumping and flipping bikes, skateboards, and everything else they can think of and breaking every bone in their body? Did you ever watch "Ridiculousness" and see the things kids are trying and failing, resulting in injury?

Do you think every person who tries to flip a 360 on a snowmobile is only doing it on the X Games? Just because the only time you consider it is when a snowmobile lands on a guy's head on ESPN doesn't mean many other kids are trying the stuff they see on TV and winding up in the hospital.

posted by dyams at 06:55 PM on February 01

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posted by DudeDykstra at 01:08 PM on February 03

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