He did win the trophy for Best Trick.
But Vernon’s Tom van Steenbergen next accomplishment will be a complete and full recovery following a crash at the Red Bull Rampage 2021 freeride mountain bike event in Utah that has left him hospitalized and requiring surgery.
The Rampage made its return over the weekend of Oct. 15 after a year away due to COVID. The event is celebrating its 20th anniversary where “some of the biggest and baddest tricks, lines and moments in freeriding history” has taken place. Van Steenbergen was among 15 of the world’s best trick riders descending upon southern Utah’s rugged desert landscape.
According to writer Sara Moore of pinkbike.com, van Steenbergen had been on a “heater of run after front flipping off his massive drop,” (the stunt that earned him Best Trick) when he “went deep on a backflip on the following step down and took a heavy crash.”
The Vernon rider was immediately surrounded by medics who put him on a spine board and was then taken to hospital.
Van Steenbergen posted on his Instagram page that he had broken his left and right hip sockets into multiple pieces, a piece off the top of his femur and a piece of his lower vertebrae. He also separated the same shoulder he had just healed.
“I’ve received hundreds of amazing messages from you guys, and I wanna thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” wrote van Steenbergen, adding the red heart emoji. “Feeling extremely lucky to be able to make a full recovery after that horrible slam. Going in for a long surgery tomorrow.”
He came through surgery and shared the Best Trick trophy with his fiancée, Kianna Hamilton, then updated his situation, vowing to return to the Rampage.
“Just finished a successful eight-hour surgery,” he said. “My left hip was a lot worse than they thought (shattered) but the plates and screws are in. Now it’s time to recover. Can’t believe I held my trophy up for the first time in the hospital bed. I’ll be back for my redemption.”
Whistler’s Brandon Semenuk was crowned champion of the Rampage for a record fourth time.