16-Year-Old Snowboarder’s Crash Leaves Them Completely Motionless At Olympics

by : Julia Banim on : 10 Feb 2018 10:34

Japanese snowboarder Yuto Totsuka has been injured during the men’s halfpipe final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.


16-year-old Totsuka was left motionless after crashing into the lip of the pipe. He had been trying to complete a complicated trick during the second of his three runs, and had gotten too much air.

Totsuka fell down the half pipe face first, an estimated 35 feet (10 metres), where horrified onlookers saw him lying still after seemingly landing on his pelvis.

Medical personnel attended to Totsuka at the scene and he was taken away by snowmobile to receive medical attention. He was able to sit up and was showing movement as he received treatment.


USA Today reporter Rachel Axon has tweeted an update in regards to Totsuka’s condition, explaining the young athlete had been taken to hospital with hip pain for further testing.

According to Axon, the Japanese team’s press officer has advised the teenage snowboarder has not been seriously injured.

New York Times sports reporter John Branch has spoken about how the crowd had been ‘stunned into silence’ following the incident.

Other TV commentators have described the fall as being one of the worst they have ever seen, while Washington Post sports reporter Adam Kilgore‏ described the scene as having been ‘scary’.


This is Totsuka’s very first appearance at the Winter Olympics, where he is one of three Japanese snowboarding competitors.

Yuko was the youngest person to compete in the men’s half pipe final.

According to the Japan Times, the teen won the Japan national championships back in March, before competing – and making the podium – in three World Cup events between September and January.

The young snowboarder has become well known for his ‘fearless style’ according to The Washington Post, often opening runs by attempting more complex tricks which other athletes might hold off on.

Senior Editor at Fansided Michelle Bruton tweeted:

Heartbroken for Yuto Totsuka. What these snowboarders put on the line for a chance to medal is truly unbelievable.

Hoping he has a quick recovery and can keep competing if that’s what he wants. As we’ve seen with so many others, huge crashes at this level can get in your head.

After a brief delay of several minutes, the event continued. American Shaun White took the gold medal, Ayumu Hirano won silver and Australian Scotty James was awarded bronze.


The halfpipe is regarded of one of the more dangerous events of the Winter Olympics, with snowboarders attaining huge heights during their initial tricks.

This incident comes after 25-year-old Russian skier Pavel Trikhichev was taken to hospital after experiencing a horrific crash at a Winter Olympics event which had been delayed due to poor weather conditions.

Fortunately, Trikhichev came away with just a few cuts and bruises. However, he was unable to participate in the next event.

You can watch Trikhichev’s terrifying crash below:

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We wish Yuto Totsuka all the very best for a full recovery.

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Health, Fitness


The Washington Post and 1 other
  1. The Washington Post

    In nasty halfpipe crash, 16-year-old Olympic snowboarder may have avoided major injury

  2. Japan Times

    Totsuka takes third in World Cup event