Paul Basagoitia road to recovery

After suffering a severe spinal injury during Red Bull Rampage, Paul Basagoitia has received a deluge of support from fans and friends.

On Friday, the finals of Red Bull Rampage pitted the world’s best freeride mountain bikers against each other in the Southern Utah desert to decide who would take home freeride mountain biking’s most prestigious title.

While the riders dazzled the crowd, with champion Kurt Sorge recording the highest scoring finals run in Rampage history, not all was well.

Paul Basagoitia was severely injured during his finals run while attempting to complete what might have been the largest step down in competition history:

Initially announced as a minor leg injury on the contest’s live webcast, Basagoitia was rushed from the competition by helicopter.

Shortly thereafter, the reality of Basagoitia’s injury became evident, and it was much more grave than originally thought:

“Everyone send Paul Basagoitia positive vibes,” fellow rider Cam Zink wrote on an Instagram post showing what appeared to be Basagoitia giving a thumbs up from a hospital bed. “This champion has started a long road to recovery after shattering his T12 vertebrae yesterday and undergoing 9 hours of surgery. He had a winning run going and may have set the record for biggest step down just before going down. Lots of tears have been shed. Keep Paul in your prayers to regain feeling in his legs. There were some horrible people spreading false news that he was OK, but he needs your support more than ever to walk again.”

As news of Basagoitia’s injury started to spread across the mountain biking community, support for Basagoitia began to pour in.

RELATED: Cam Zink talks documentary, Red Bull Rampage

The nonprofit group Road 2 Recovery, which works to provide financial assistance to licensed professional motocross/supercross riders and action sports professionals in the event they sustain career-ending injuries, started a donation page to cover the costs of Basagoitia’s medical bills.

With the goal of raising $100,000 for Basagoitia, the campaign has already raised over $16,000 in one day since going live.

In addition to the monetary donations, the Road 2 Recovery campaign started the hashtag #irideforpaul to help rally support throughout the mountain biking community.

The response has been huge:

According to updates provided by fellow riders and those close to Basagoitia, he is currently on his way to recovery after having the chest tube used to operate on his spine removed yesterday.

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