Winter X-Games competitor Caleb Moore, 25, died Thursday after crashing on a back flip during the competition's freestyle snowmobile finals last week.
Moore walked off the course with assistance after the crash — he flew off the handlebars of his vehicle, which then rolled over him — and went to the hospital for treatment for a concussion. His condition worsened at the hospital when he developed bleeding around the heart, and an unspecified secondary brain condition, as ESPN explained. His death is the first in the 18-year history of the X-Games competition, although free skier Sarah Burke died last year while training for the event.
ESPN, which hosts/televises/hypes the games, released this statement on Moore's death:
"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."
Since Moore's crash, a few pieces have popped up questioning the safety of the X-Games. Over at Deadspin, the ominously titled "It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before Someone Dies At The X Games [UPDATE]" by Brent Rose reports on the increasing feeling among competitors and X-Games fans that the evolution of the games is creating a dangerous, perpetual raising of the bar. And the Los Angeles Times dives a bit into our unshaken connection between modern athletes and daredevils, and ancient gladiator spectacle.