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USA snowboarder AJ Muss goes from coma to Olympic dream

In 2014, after suffering a rare life-threatening reaction to a routine shoulder operation that saw his heart stop, Muss was placed into a medically induced coma for two weeks.

The snowboarding star who will represent his country in the men’s parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom in Pyeongchang, has arguably faced greater hurdles in recent years.

The trauma resulted in damage to the brain that forced Muss to once again learn to read and write and face the struggle of recovering lost memories.

But the 23-year old remains positive and even jokes about his ordeal, saying forgetting tough days on the slopes is an ability other athletes should envy.

He tells Reuters Television that surviving his brush with death has made him a better athlete.

“For some reason after this accident I am a different athlete, I am stronger, I am fitter, I am more determined than ever,” Muss said during an interview on Monday (February 19).

“I honestly think this accident made me who I am today and made me a better athlete. I know this might sound terrible but I wouldn’t change what happened to me at all.”

Muss refused a further heart surgery that he was advised would end his snowboarding career and instead focused his attention on getting back on his board.

He currently ranks 16th in the world and is a contender for a medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.

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