CNN – Snowmobiler Caleb Moore died Thursday, a week after a crash that has raised new safety concerns about the X Games. He was 25 years old.
“He will be truly missed and never forgotten,” his family said in a statement. “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. … Arrangements for a celebration of life are being made and an announcement will be made in the coming days.”
Moore, a freestyle snowmobiler, was attempting a backflip at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, when he couldn’t rotate his machine enough to land properly. The skis dug into the lip of the slope, bringing the 450-pound snowmobile crashing down on him. The vehicle slammed into Moore’s head and chest.
“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,” ESPN, which organizes and televises the X Games, said in a statement. “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.”
The statement added that the X Games have long worked on safety issues and that nevertheless, “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.”
What happened to Caleb is absolutely unfortunate. I’d never wish death on anyone, or anyone’s family. What pisses me off is the double standard the X-Games gets over the NFL. For the last year or so the NFL has been ripped for being an unsafe league, one that prides itself on destruction of the human body. The league offices have even gone as far as to change rules and the proper tackling form. Yet every time theres a concussion somebody says something else needs to be fixed and that the league isnt doing enough. Its the NFL’s many years of existence, no one has ever died resulting from a hit on field. Theres been paralyzations, and brain jarring concussions, but no deaths.
These guys in the X-Games are dealing with machinery that weighs roughly 500 pounds. And they’re trying to flip these things in the air like they’re bicycles or a skateboard. To me this is like asking to a serious injury and/or death. Its 200 times more dangerous than football could ever be. And yet no one cares. ESPN said they’d look into the safety and X-Games came out and said that they’ve long worked on safety issues and that nevertheless, “when the world’s best compete at the highest level in any sport, risks remain.”
Umm, sorry X-Games, but not true. I dont see Tiger Woods’ life in jeopardy Thursday through Sunday when he’s smacking the little white ball around. I dont see Rafael Nadal’s life in jeopardy when he’s at Wimbledon or the French Open. Albert Pujol’s life is pretty safe and he has baseball’s being thrown at him at 100 mph speed. Even Kobe and LeBron are safe as shit running up and down the court, jumping 6 feet into the air for dunks. The X-Games is different. Theres a reason it involves “extreme” sports. Because they go over board. Like when you’re trying to flip a 500 pound machine over your head after you just launched it off of a ramp.
Unfortunately because its an extreme sport everyone thinks its expect and therefore not as big a deal as football’s. When in fact it should be a bigger deal because of the ramifications it presents. Now a family has lost a son, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, and a brother.
Here’s the crash video if you’re curious and can handle that kind of thing…