Scotty Lago broke his jaw while snowboarding Tuesday and likely will be unable to compete at the Winter X Games later this month.
The Olympic bronze medalist was in the backcountry outside Jackson, Wyo., with Travis Rice and Mark Landvik, filming for Rice's new movie, "The Art of Flight." The three were hitting a jump that took them a week to build, one that was specifically designed for Rice to try a new, never-before-seen trick for the film. The kicker launched them about 50 feet into the air.
Lago was trying switch double backside rodeo 1080s. On his third attempt, he landed 90 degrees short on his final rotation and his knees compressed into his chin. The impact fractured his jaw, chipped a bone in his chin, broke several teeth and cut his chin and tongue. The cuts required stitches, and his jaw has been wired shut.
"For the next four weeks, I'll be drinking through a straw," Lago said by phone Wednesday night from Jackson. "That's probably the worst part about it."
The injury occurred around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Rice had a medic among his film crew. Still, Lago had to drive his snowmobile 20 miles over hilly terrain in order to get back to town. "It was pretty painful," he said.
Lago underwent emergency surgery and spent the night at St. John's Medical Center in Jackson, where he was released Wednesday. He plans to fly home to New Hampshire Thursday.
With his jaw wired shut for four weeks, Lago said he will "probably" be unable to compete at the Winter X Games, where he was the only athlete entered in three separate events: SuperPipe, Slopestyle, and Big Air.
"The Art of Flight" is the sequel to Rice's 2008 blockbuster movie, "That's It, That's All," and is scheduled for release in the fall. Prior to his injury, Lago landed his first frontside 1080 double rodeo for the cameras. "It was going from the best day in my life, into the worst day," he said. He plans to return to filming for movie later in the season.