ASPEN — While doctors evaluated snowmobiler Caleb Moore late Thursday night because of a concussion he suffered in an ugly freestyle accident at the Winter X Games, the 25-year-old athlete from Texas developed bleeding around his heart and was airlifted to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.
"He underwent surgery (Friday) morning. It went well. He is in ICU with a heart contusion," the Moores' spokeswoman, Chelsea Lawson, said Friday morning. "Doctors are optimistic."
Friday night, Lawson said Moore's mother was reporting "that he's improving by the minute." Caleb's brother Colten suffered a separated pelvis after a wreck on the same jump moments later. Colten was treated and released and by late Friday afternoon was back home in Krum, Texas recovering, Lawson said.
Moore and his brother Colten crashed on the same jump during Thursday night's snowmobile freestyle finals at the Buttermilk ski area.
Caleb came up short on a backflip Thursday, digging his sled's skis into the snow and slamming the landing. The 450-pound snowmobile bounced into his head as he tumbled. He was knocked out briefly, suffering a concussion.
He got up and walked off and was taken to the Aspen hospital.
"I feel like I just had the longest dream ever," a dazed Moore told his younger brother, 23-year-old Colten. Minutes later, Colten was injured in the same spot.
Injuries are part of life for the Moore brothers. Colten was only 12 years old when he broke his femurs and pelvis while quad racing. Caleb had a lengthy list of injuries even before Thursday night's mishap. He was knocked unconscious and injured his ankles after the 2010 X Games during an exhibition in Costa Rica. Last year, Caleb took bronze while he was recovering from a broken pelvis and after breaking his tailbone during practice.