The X Games have always been known to combine hair-raising stunts, risk, and excitement. But the recent death of freestyle innovative snowmobiler Caleb Moore is now “rubbing salt to wound” on growing concerns over safety in extreme sports.
Caleb Moore was a top athlete in one of the most daring competitions ever devised for television. Two weeks ago, he crashed a minute into a routine in which he treated his 450-pound snowmobile like a broomstick, spinning around it in midair as he flew from ramp to ramp. While his stunts looked “awesome”, the backflip (a trick he had performed masterfully in the past) failed:
His accident happened with just 20 seconds left in his freestyle run.
Following which, Caleb suffered a concussion and was rushed to a local hospital, where it was discovered that he was bleeding from around his heart. The bleeding triggered a secondary brain condition. He was then airlifted to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for an emergency surgery. He laid in critical condition before eventually succumbed to his injuries. He was declared brain dead. (Source)
Caleb Moore was only 25 years old. And his death is the first in the history of the Winter X Games.
ESPN released the following statement regarding the incident:
We are deeply saddened by Caleb Moore’s passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, Wade and Michelle, his brother, Colten, and the entire Moore family. He will be remembered for his natural passion for life and his deep love for his family and friends, and he will always be an inspiration to everyone he touched in the action sports community.
As a result of this accident we will conduct a thorough review of this discipline and adopt any appropriate changes to future X Games.
For 18 years we have worked closely on safety issues with athletes, course designers, and other experts. Still, when the world’s best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain. Caleb was a four-time X Games medalist attempting a move he has landed several times previously.
While mind-blowing stunts, flips, and crazy jumps for kicks at the X Games and the chances of escaping casualties have always appealed to both athletes and spectators, everything about it is still very life-threatening. And death is very real.
Our thoughts and prayer go out to Caleb Moore’s family, friends, and fans during this difficult time.