Professional snowmobiler Caleb Moore, 25, who was gravely injured a week ago in a Winter X Games accident, has succumbed to his injuries. Here’s what you should know about his career and death.
1. Moore Died this Morning, One Week after the Crash
Moore died on Thursday, January 31, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Hospital, one week to the day after his tragic accident at the Winter X Games in Aspen. Moore was attempting a backflip jump in the Games’ freestyle snowmobile competition when he crashed, flew over the handlebars and smashed his head as his sled rolled over him. The gruesome footage was widely viewed on the Internet and television. He had emergency surgery the following day for internal bleeding around his heart, and on Sunday his family announced there were complications of the surgery related to his brain.
2. He Walked Away from the Accident
After the dramatic accident, Moore actually walked away, apparently okay. He was treated for a concussion, but the severity and extent of his injuries were unknown at the time. He then developed bleeding around his heart.
3. His Family Released a Statement on His Death
Moore’s family released this official statement, confirming his passing:
This morning Caleb Moore passed away. He will be truly missed and never forgotten.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for all the prayers and support they have received from all the fans, friends and family around the world that Caleb has inspired.
They would also like to thank the physicians and medical staff at both Aspen Valley Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, Grand Junction for their care and dedication.
At this time, the family will not be making any other public statements. They continue to decline interviews. Thank you for continuing to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
Arrangements for a celebration of life are being made and an announcement will be made in the coming days.
4. It’s the First Death in the X Games
Moore’s passing is the first death in the 17-year history of the X Games. However, a freestyle skier named Sarah Burke died in 2011 while training for the games.
5. Moore Quickly Became One of the World’s Best Freestyle Snowmobilers
Moore was a phenom, rocketing to the top of his sport after becoming a pro snowmobiler just four months before his first X Games in 2010. He was previously an ATV racer. He won a bronze in freestyle in the 2010 X Games, two more medals in 2011 (bronze in freestyle and silver for best trick), and another bronze for freestyle in 2012.
6. He Mastered the Backflip in Two Weeks
According to his agent, B.C. Vaught, Moore mastered the difficult trick that took his life — the backflip — in just two weeks of practice.
7. He’s from Texas
Moore hails from Krum, Texas, an odd hometown for a winter sports star. In a snowless land 50 miles from Dallas, he practiced his snowmobile jumps by landing in a foam-filled pit.
8. His Brother Also Was Injured at this Year’s Games
Caleb’s younger brother, Colten, also a famous snowmobiler, suffered an injury on the same day as Caleb — separating his pelvis. Colten won a gold in freestyle snowmobiling at last year’s X Games.
9. His Death Has Led to a Review of Safety at the Games
Caleb’s death may not be in vain has X Games officials have announced a full inquiry into the safety of competitors at the games. An official X Games statement read:
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.
Also noted in the statement was that Moore had a reputation for the stunt and it was not unusual for him to perform it.
10. The X Games Website Has Transformed into a Tribute to Moore Today