Christchurch, New Zealand (September 9th) – Snowboarder Luke Mitrani, age 23, continues to recover at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch after a successful surgery on September 2nd to stabilize a fracture to his C5 vertebrae. This is often a catastrophic life threatening injury, which can result in total paralysis.  Mitrani was injured while training for the 2013 Winter Olympics.  The frontside double cork 1080, a trick Mitrani has done successfully countless times, unfortunately ended in a serious crash with Luke landing on his back in Cardrona’s half pipe. Doctors expect Mitrani to make a full recovery within six to 12 months. Mitrani will return to America in less than two weeks and will continue rehabilitation and physical therapy, which he has already begun in New Zealand.

With a characteristic positive attitude Mitrani stated, "The last few days have been absolutely terrifying.  After the crash I was paralyzed and couldn’t feel or move my limbs for several minutes.  I feel so lucky and blessed to know that I will be able to recover 100% after such a traumatic experience. Sure, it’s a bummer to no longer have a shot at this Olympics, but I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation knowing that I narrowly escaped the unthinkable, and have the opportunity to get my life back and snowboard again soon. I have so much love and respect for my family, friends, sponsors, medical team, and all who have supported me through this. On the spiritual podium the true gold medal is simply living and appreciating every moment, so let’s live!"

Luke Mitrani was the youngest member of the US Snowboarding team at age 12.  Last year he jumped to fifth in the World Snowboard Tour rankings. Mitrani is supported by Volcom, Amp, Dragon, US Snowboard Team, Frends, Vestal, and Mammoth Mountain.