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Canadian freestyle motocross rider Bruce Cook is being treated for lower back and spinal cord injuries after a crash on Friday night while attempting the first-ever double front flip on a motorcycle on opening night of the 2014 Nitro Circus Live North American tour at Copps Colliseum in Hamilton, Ontario, according to a statement released by Nitro Circus. Cook said he has no feeling or movement in his legs.
"One of our athletes, Bruce Cook, was injured during the Hamilton show," said Mike Porra, CEO of Nitro Circus Live, in the statement on Saturday. "Bruce underwent surgery earlier this morning and we are please to say it went well and he is now recovering with family and friends. We would like to thank everybody for their well-wishes and we will share updates on his progress as they come to light."
The double front flip has never been attempted at X Games or in other freestyle motocross competition, but Cook, who competed as a rookie in the Moto X Best Trick event at X Games Los Angeles 2012, had reportedly mastered the rotation over a foam pit while training for the Nitro Circus tour, using a special ramp purpose-built for the trick. Video of Friday's attempt shows Cook under-rotating, coming off the bike backwards, and tumbling violently down a padded resi-foam landing ramp. Cook waved to the crowd as he was assisted off the set by paramedics, according to Porra, before being rushed to Hamilton General Hospital.
"On Saturday, January 4th I underwent three hours of surgery on my lower-mid back. The surgery on my spine was successful, however, my spinal cord is damaged and I still don't have sensation or movement below my belly button. I am staying positive and hopeful that I'll be back on my feet in the future," Cook said in the statement.
Cook will remain in Hamilton for another week, then will be transferred to a specialized facility in British Columbia, Canada, Cook said.
Over the weekend Cook posted several thumbs-up photos to his Instagram account, thanking his fans for messages and well-wishes.
"It literally has taken me hours to make it through most of them and appreciate every single one of them," he wrote. "I underwent 3 hours of surgery on my back and I'll likely be in hospital in Ontario for the remainder of the week, at which time I will transfer to BC. Again, thank you so much for all the support and positive messages."
Cook, 26, lives in Kelowna, British Columbia. The 13-stop Nitro Circus Live North American tour continued without him on Sunday at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass., and heads to Madison Square Garden in New York on Jan. 8.