Valentino Guseli, from Dalmeny on the NSW South Coast, has had a frightening fall at the Stomping Ground Projects snow park in Switzerland, suffering a broken wrist.
The 16-year-old was lucky his injuries weren’t worse, as in the vision below (taken from his Instagram page) you see him do multiple spins in the air before he mistakenly hits the top of the halfpipe and plummets down the wall, fracturing his radius and ulna.
The fall will see Valentino take a short break from the snow before preparations ramp up for his first Winter Olympics in July 2022.
Valentino is considered one of the best young snowboarders Australia has seen for some time, particularly after his recent world record feat where he jumped an astounding 7.3 metres on a halfpipe.
While for some parents, the thought of one of their children being injured 16,000km away in a foreign country would be a worst nightmare, for Kristen and Ric Gulesi it’s something they’ve come to expect given the high-risk nature of the sport their son has chosen.
“It’s really horrible, but it’s not unexpected,” says Kristen.
“This time last year he had issues with his back and they advised him to have a rest for about six weeks.”
“It’s far from season-ending, and for him, he’s upset for a couple of hours and then he picks himself up.”
However, it’s certainly not all doom and gloom for Valentino. Because he is a Red Bull athlete, he will be rehabbing at one of their prestigious high-performance centres in Austria.
The fall hasn’t seemed to faze him too much, either, with Valentino posting a message to his followers on Instagram from his hospital bed, in which he declared he couldn’t wait to be back on the snow again soon.