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Canada´s Sebastien Toutant aiming for quick return from broken ribs

Sebastien Toutant felt a painful sting in his rib cage that took his breath away the moment he crashed down hard at the bottom of the X Games slopestyle course in Aspen last week.

The Canadian snowboarder was sure he had broken some ribs — a diagnosis that was confirmed at an Aspen hospital shortly after — but he was already making plans to get back on the slopes before the end of the campaign.

“There’s a lot of people out there when they get injured it makes them push on the brakes, they’re scared to do it again, but for me it’s the opposite,” Toutant said in a phone interview Wednesday from his Montreal home.

“When I get injured, it makes me miss snowboarding. It makes me think about how lucky I am to be doing this every day and I think that’s super important. “You start reflecting on what you did and thinking about stuff you can do better, and you want it so bad that it gives you back any motivation that maybe you [lost] over time.”

The l’Assomption, Que., native, went into the X Games on a wave of confidence following a gold-medal win at a World Cup in Switzerland a week before.

But he didn’t make it to the final in Aspen, crashing on his third of three qualifying runs — on his last jump in an otherwise solid routine — last Thursday.

Toutant was sitting in a unsatisfactory 14th place after the first two runs and felt pressure to nail his last one in an effort to make the final. But grey skies limited visibility and a wet snowfall accumulating by the minute made the course much more challenging.

“I was trying a backside 1440 triple cork, which is a trick I have down pretty well,” Toutant said. “It’s a hard trick but it’s not my hardest, and I think with the conditions and lack of speed and not being able to really practise it the last two days, it definitely didn’t help.

Toutant broke three ribs on his left side and said others “popped out” on impact. The 27-year-old stayed in an Aspen hospital for a few days before returning to Montreal on Monday night.

He was back in the gym Tuesday, doing some light work to test his limits.

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