Young's sees no humour, only halfpipe horror in Sochi

WHERE most people see humour, Orange physiotherapist Peter Young sees potential havoc.

The controversy surrounding the substandard construction and quality of the Sochi Winter Olympics' snowboard halfpipe has created an avenue for some of the best stacks, falls and tumbles in the sport's history and for most, a highlight reel equivalent to that of a comedic sketch show.

"I don't see it as Australia's Funniest Home Videos, I see it as a way to seriously hurt yourself," Mr Young explained.

And with good reason.

In 2002, Mr Young was on a working holiday to Europe. During a week-long snowboarding course in Andorra Mr Young succumbed to over-confidence and attempted a jump well beyond his skill level. 

After losing control mid-jump and landing "on my backside on hard-packed ice", Mr Young experienced severe pain and loss of sensation in his legs.

The resulting x-rays showed a broken back; a wedge fracture to his L1 vertebrae, which meant a week in the isolation of an Andorran hospital and a metal brace.

"It's a good advertisement to make sure you have travel insurance," Mr Young laughed.

"None of the people in the hospital spoke English, and I was left to watch German MTV essentially on repeat and play my gameboy, which I only had three games for.

"Eventually I was in an ambulance to Toulouse Airport, and flown business class back to London. Unfortunately I wasn't able to appreciate the comforts."

"I don't see it as Australia's Funniest Home Videos, I see it as a way to seriously hurt yourself"

Mr Young acknowledge accidents with the potential to cause permanent damage can cause severe trauma, but dismissed the notion of it effecting him mentally or physically.

"The only trauma for me was spending a week on my own," he laughed.

"I do get back tightness now, but I don't have any emotional trouble from the accident although when I see those athletes fall it does remind me actions have consequences."

Mr Young said the halfpipe controversy is an accident waiting to happen.

"Someone of my level is always going to fall down," he laughed.

"But when elite athletes are repeatedly falling, and sometimes injuring themselves there is clearly something wrong. If it isn't constructed properly it needs to be torn down."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop