Nick Bruce Broke his Face! He's OK, Though...

Is X Games cursed? In Nick Bruce's mind, that's gotta be a solid maybe. Two years ago, a flair windshield wiper to the dome left him dazed. Last year, an over-rotated frontflip left him with a broken collarbone. This year - a month before the big show even kicks off - a nasty crash at the Boise qualifier left him with numerous fractures in his face. In true Nick Bruce fashion, he's keeping positive, working towards recovery, and already has his sights on getting redemption in Minneapolis - where he's going to be competing in dirt (and possibly park, if he's gifted one of the elusive wildcard sports). Regardless, we had to catch up with him, see how he's doing, and get an update - 


Your first two runs in Boise were great. What happened out there?

First of all, thank you. I felt great in my first couple of runs - better than I felt all week long in practice. I was struggling with flairing that big mellow quarter, which was odd because - in previous years - it was always my favorite quarter to do flair tricks on. I think I just missed my pop on a flair downwhip causing a really bad hang up to my hip and face.

How much of the crash do you remember?

I remember all of it - which is a great sign - but it’s also aggravating being able to reimagine it.

Did you lose consciousness?

I did not.

Could you tell something pretty serious was wrong immediately?

Honestly, yes. It was crazy. It felt like I ripped my face open, but there was only a scratch. My face was in so much pain, yet the paramedics believed nothing was broken and I was fine because I was fully there. But, I knew it was something serious based on the level of pain I was in.

What was the exact damage to your face?

Directly from the doctor's report, I'm dealing with a mildly displaced acute fracture of the nasal bridge, a mildly depressed acute fracture of the anterior wall of the right maxillary antrum, an undisplaced acute fracture of the lateral wall of the right maxillary antrum, and an undisplaced fracture of the anterior margin of the right orbital floor.


Did the crash delay your trip home from Boise?

Thankfully, no. With help from my girlfriend and Brian Kerr - the man from ESPN - they both helped immensely making sure everything was sorted from packing bags, shipping them, taking me to the pharmacy, and everything else I needed in Boise. Also, thank you to Boyd Hilder for coming by my Airbnb to help me pack my bike because I left my some tools at the park.

How are you feeling today?

I honestly feel good! But, it took a week of not being able to really look at my phone, move around too much, or be around any loud noises because it would give me serious headaches.

When do doctors think you’ll be able to get back on your bike?

I saw an oral and maxillofacial surgeon - basically a face doctor - this week and he said four-to-six weeks, but I should be fine to compete in X Games.


What events do you anticipate this having you sidelined through?

NASS in England and Baltic Games in Poland - which I was really looking forward to this year.

You had rough crashes at X Games in 2017 and 2018 - and now this. What can you do to put all of this bad X Games luck behind you?

It does seem crazy how much I’ve beat myself up in the X Games world - haha! All I can do is focus on riding and enjoying the courses one day at a time. With this injury right before, if I’m able to make it there, drop in, and compete, that will be a great start to ending the streak I’ve had there!


Are you still able to do any training in the meantime?

They told me to not do much until the concussion symptoms wore off, but if it counts, I did some juggling and balance stuff kind of early on and have been walking my dogs a lot. I’m good to start doing more now, but I might have to keep it chill on the bike until X Games just to be safe because my face is still fractured.

There are a few wildcard spots for park in X Games. If you get one, are you confident you’ll be able to compete?

I’m confident I’ll be able to compete based on how I’ve been feeling and knowing it is still a few weeks away.

You’re a pretty smart guy. Leave us with some words of wisdom...

Thanks. Treat yourself - internally or externally - like a best friend who needs your support when they aren’t feeling great.

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