Brock Crouch is crazy gifted. The 18-year-old Californian is a legitimate two-sport threat. He’s surfed on the ISA junior team and is also a regular on snowboarding’s World Cup circuit. But this week, according to family, Mother Nature dealt the Red Bull-sponsored athlete a heavy blow.
Crouch was apparently filming in the Whistler, Canada backcountry when he was swept over a cliff and buried for at least five minutes. “He was pulled off an 80ft cliff (sic) and upon landing, buried for 5 minutes before help got to him,” wrote professional golfer Mike Glennie, who identified himself as Crouch’s older brother in a pair of social posts. “He broke his back (T12-L1-L2) lost some teeth, busted up his face, then was buried alive. I know you stared death in the face yesterday brother but you also lived to talk about it.”
Request for comment from the Crouch family wasn’t immediately returned and details are still not entirely clear. But info could be pieced together from social media. Snowboarder John Jackson apparently was one of the first on the scene and helped get Crouch free of the debris. “He’s a soldier for sure, whole crew performed a rockstar rescue. Love ya @brockcrouch,” Jackson wrote.
Crouch–who seems to have a supremely-bright future–competed at the ISA World Junior Championships and regularly competes in Surfing USA events. He won a World Cup slopestyle event in February of 2016 in Pyeongchang, a test event for this year’s Winter Olympics. While he didn’t make the 2018 Olympic snowboarding team, he has serious aspirations of being a two-sport Olympian: “His goal was to be on both teams, so it’s kind of crazy,” Dan Crouch, Brock’s dad, told San Diego media in 2016. The snowboarding community weighed in on the incident, wishing the well-liked Crouch a speedy recovery.
Editor’s Note: We will update this story as more information becomes available.