Mark McMorris' fractured rib is steadily improving, so much so that the gold-medal favorite in Sochi plans to snowboard in a few days to "see how it goes."
McMorris responded in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that he feels "pretty good" nearly a week after his crash during the Winter X Games slopestyle final. He has a few more days to heal with slopestyle qualifying at the Sochi Games not beginning until Feb. 6.
Last weekend, the 20-year-old Canadian rider caught his snowboard on the lip of a rail and landed hard on the bar, then slid down on his right side before hitting the snow.
"I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't breathe," he said in the email. "I just had to get up. I couldn't lay there. I was so disappointed."
He made it down the hill that afternoon under his own power and headed to the hospital, where X-rays revealed he had a fractured rib but no other damage.
And now McMorris refuses to let the fall derail his Olympic aspirations.
"I am really blessed and lucky I get a second chance to try and give it a shot," he said.
Asked if his rib might hamper him during competition, McMorris responded: "I can't predict it until I get out there and try."
McMorris arrived in Europe early so he could get accustomed to the time difference. He said he's pretty much been "in a stationary place trying to get better. Feeling Ok but my rib is still broken so it's not 100 percent. ... Every day (the rib) gets better and I still have 4 or 5 days before I compete."