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Snowboarder Brock Crouch details being buried in avalanche

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U.S. snowboarder Brock Crouch said he was “buried with no oxygen for almost 5 minutes” after an avalanche before several people rescued him, saving his life, in a social media post Thursday.

It happened several days ago while Crouch, 18, was was riding for snowboarding filming in Whistler, B.C. He was swept off an 80-foot cliff, according to USA Surfing (Crouch also surfs).

“I was unfortunately caught in a pretty big avalanche,” was posted on Crouch’s social media, along with images of Crouch at a hospital. “I was standing at the top of a ridge with [friend] Cam when the cornice broke under me and pulled me backwards into a slide. It took me through about 1000 feet and over several rock bands before I ended up at the bottom, buried with no oxygen for almost 5 minutes. Luckily for me, I was with some of the most experienced people in the world when it comes to back country safety and without them I wouldn’t be here today so thank you all!”

Crouch will leave the hospital in a few days, without surgery or spine or nerve damage, according to his social media. He tore his pancreas, knocked out five teeth and fractured three vertebrae.

Crouch was in the running to make the PyeongChang Olympic team in big air and slopestyle but missed the four-man roster. He won the Olympic slopestyle test event in South Korea in 2016.

“I love snowboarding more today than I ever have, and I can’t wait to get back on my board and shred with everyone again!” was the closing statement of Crouch’s post.

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MORE: Snowboarders sweep Team USA Awards for PyeongChang Olympics

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A few days ago, I was in the Whistler back country filming with @johnjamun , @camfitzpatrick , @marktremblay , @getsalano , and Justin Hostynek when I was unfortunately caught in a pretty big avalanche. I was standing at the top of a ridge with Cam when the cornice broke under me and pulled me backwards into a slide. It took me through about 1000 feet and over several rock bands before I ended up at the bottom, buried with no oxygen for almost 5 minutes. Luckily for me, I was with some of the most experienced people in the world when it comes to back country safety and without them I wouldn’t be here today so thank you all! I tore my pancreas, knocked out 5 teeth, got a "periorbital hemotoma (basically closed up my right eye) and fractured my L2 L3 and my T12 vertebrae. Initially, I didn't know what to expect because we didn't know how serious my spine and pancreas injuries were. Last night, we got some final results from the doctors and somehow by the grace of God I don't need any surgery and I get to leave here in the next few days since there was no spine or nerve damage. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the love I’ve been shown the last few days. I especially want to thank our pilot, Justin, John, Cam, Mark and Shin for saving my life. I love snowboarding more today than I ever have and I can’t wait to get back on my board and shred with everyone again!

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Weekend Gymnastics Roundup: Carey and McCusker on World Cup podium

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World medalists Jade Carey and Riley McCusker headlined gymnastics action over the weekend as the World Cup circuit continued with an all-around competition in Birmingham, England, and an apparatus event in Doha, Qatar.

Carey won both the vault and floor events in Doha, pushing her to the top of the standings on both apparatus (she also won the vault and floor competitions the previous weekend at the World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan).

Doha marked the halfway point of apparatus World Cups, putting Carey in a promising position to qualify for the Tokyo Games heading into the next four events. The apparatus World Cup series includes a total of eight competitions spread over two seasons, and one gymnast per apparatus will qualify for the Olympics based on his or her top three results across the eight events.

Carey, 18, was the 2017 world silver medalist on vault and floor. But she opted not to try for a spot on the 2018 World Championships team due to the International Gymnastics Federation’s rules that active team members who help their countries qualify team spots for Tokyo (as the U.S. women did in November) cannot earn individual spots. Carey, an apparatus specialist rather than an all-around gymnast, chose the World Cup route to keep open her options of qualifying individually.

McCusker, who was part of the U.S. team that won the world title last year, finished second at the all-around World Cup in Birmingham, posting the top scores on the uneven bars and floor. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, a seven-time Olympic medalist, won the event. Mustafina bounced back from a shaky showing last weekend at the World Cup in Stuttgart, where she finished fifth in an event won by Simone Biles. Mustafina, 24, is trying to qualify for her third Olympics after giving birth to daughter Alisa in June 2017.

The all-around World Cup circuit continues on April 7 in Tokyo, Japan, where two-time world all-around medalist Morgan Hurd and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak are expected to compete.

First Olympic women’s aerials champion Cheryazova dies at 50

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MOSCOW — Lina Cheryazova, the first woman to win an Olympic aerials skiing gold medal, has died. She was 50.

Officials in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, where Cheryazova was living for the last two decades, said she died “following a lengthy illness,” without giving further details.

Competing for Uzbekistan, Cheryazova won gold with a triple flip when aerials skiing debuted on the Olympic program in 1994 in Lillehammer.

Shortly after winning, she learned her mother died three weeks before.

Cheryazova’s career was derailed later that year when she suffered a serious head injury while training in the United States, and spent days in a coma. She retired after failing to qualify for the 1998 Winter Olympics.