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Slovenian snowboarder targets Wings for Life World Run after broken back.
Marko Grilc knows he is a lucky person. The 33-year-old snowboarder from Slovenia should be able to walk again after a crash that could have ended far worse.
Grilc, star of snowboarding projects such as Perfect Playground, is determined to get back on his board.
First, though, he has targeted the 2017 Wings for Life World Run as part of his long rehabilitation.
Speaking from his native Ljubljana, Grilc revealed how close he came to disaster on the day of his recent crash.
He said, “It was a very nice autumn day, conditions were great. After a couple of hours of riding, the snow got softer. It caught my board and I crashed before the jump.
“There was pure ice and I hit the ground in a very weird way. I knew right away that I had broken my back.
“My first thought was, ‘OK, just move the legs'. But I was not able to tell right away if they were moving or not, and then I scratched a ski boot with my toes.
“That was a really good sign, but I still didn’t know how bad it was. Will I be able to walk again?
“One of my favourite things to do is to walk my kids to kindergarten in the morning when they tell me what’s going on. So I thought in that moment, 'Will I be able to walk with them or not?'”
Thankfully for Marko, the expert medical team entrusted with his immediate recovery assured him that he could be fixed.
The former Air + Style and O’Neil Evolution Slopestyle champion is out of the woods, however knows the road back to competing is still a long one.
He added, “It’s been two weeks since the surgery. They’ve removed two of the staples and it’s healing well.
“This beginning era is still pretty dangerous. Now it’s time for a long rehabilitation.
"I #snowboard. We know that we can get hurt each day. I have to get back to what I am.”
The not-for-profit Wings for Life foundation has been a benefit to thousands with spinal cord injuries and paraplegia worldwide since 2004 with the World Run an important part of that from the first race in 2014.
Grilc explained, “Wings For Life World Run is an incredible #event. All of us give something for #people who are less fortunate. That’s why I have always participated in this #event and I think that this is one of the best things that is happening in society today.
“I have decided to run again. I don’t even know if I will be able to run, but I will try to help #people who had similar injuries to mine and just less luck. I’m at the very beginning, but this is my goal and I will work to reach it.”
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