Olympic bronze medalist Scotty Lago has trouble speaking, can't move his tongue and is eating all his meals through a straw. That's not going to stop him from competing in the year's biggest snowboarding competition.
Despite having his jaw wired shut, the 23-year-old snowboarding star will compete in this week's Winter X Games, TMZ.com reported. Lago plans to compete in four events, the same schedule he had before the accident.
The bronze medalist in the halfpipe competition at last year's Vancouver Olympics was in Wyoming filming a snowboarding movie last week when he landed oddly after a jump and had his knee crash into his jaw, according to Seacoastonline.com. He received stitches in his tongue and chin, broke some teeth and chipped his cheekbone, which forced doctors to wire his jaw shut with metal bands. He expects to get the bands out in two weeks.
Lago told his hometown New Hampshire newspaper that the hardest part of the process is drinking through the straw to keep up his protein intake. Because he can't eat solid foods, all Lago's meals come in liquid form. Maintaining his body weight for competition thus becomes a major concern.
After winning the bronze medal last year, Lago was asked to leave the Olympic village after PG-13 photos of him and a woman posing with his bronze medal hit the Internet.