Greg Watts Injury Update and Fundraiser!

Jan 23, 2012
by Chainlink Clothing  
Greg Watts

Last week our good friend and athlete, Greg Watts, suffered a horrific crash, while wrapping up his section for "Barred For Life 2". The crash happened around 1:30pm at Woodward West, while in rotation for a double back flip. Unfortunately going into the second rotation Greg tried to eject from his bike and fell 8 feet onto his back and neck. Right away, everyone ran to the scene to make sure Greg was okay, but we knew at that moment that something went super wrong. When he finally caught his breath he told us his neck and back were in tremendous amounts of pain.

We quickly reacted by calling up our friends at Woodward for a backboard and neck brace, as we waited for the Tehachapi Fire Dept. and ambulance to show up and assess the situation. When they arrived at the scene, the Tehachapi ambulance paramedic suggested that due to Greg's serious condition, that he be transported to Bakersfield Hospital that was an hour and a half west of our location.

Needless to say, Bakersfield is an experience that no-one needs to endure! This was an ordeal all on its own, and unfortunately Greg was going to have to deal with it. The paramedics dropped Greg off in the ER in Bakersfield and since this was Bakersfield it just happened to be full of convicts from the local prison who had just happened to have a 100 man riot that very day. This meant that Greg was going to have to wait for 6 hours before any attention or answers would come regarding his current condition. Also, to make matters worse, his friends had to wait out in the waiting-room and couldn't help him out in any way as they were restricted to wait out front.

By the time we were able to see Greg he was still in "overflow;" aka. - out in the middle of the hall with no answers. We would then have to wait for another three and a half hours before finally seeing some X-rays to help understand what he was dealing with. From this point the doctors were very helpful in giving us some insight into Greg's condition. The doctor walked Greg and myself through what had happened and we were able to record our overview of the X-Rays to show Greg. Unfortunately, the X-rays showed two fractured vertebra - the "C1" neck and "T3" in his back.

We have attached a little video shot on Greg's iPhone. This gives you a good perspective of the injury that he sustained.

Views: 8,552    Faves: 8    Comments: 1

Views: 4,579    Faves: 8    Comments: 1


This was obviously very bad news to hear, since we were all hoping for a popped disk or kinked neck. However it was a blessing in disguise to know that he wasn't paralyzed and will make a full recovery. The doctors informed us that Greg will have to wear a two piece neck and back brace for the next 3-4 months. After that he will continue with his rehab on a strong path back to his bike. The full recovery is expected to take up to 5-6 months before Greg will be back to full health and throwing down.

With that being said, we have been working very hard to get behind our good friend in-order to raise money to help him out with his hospital bills and for any other costs that he might endure on his road to recovery. We will be holding an auction on the www.chainlinkclothing.com to raise money for Greg. So far we have had an overwhelming amount of support from his sponsors and friends within the industry.

Greg Watts

Below is the line up of great companies that are standing by Greg at this difficult time... ALL PROCEEDS RAISED THROUGH OUR ONLINE AUCTION AND GREG'S NEW SIGNATURE BADGE TEE WILL BE GOING STRAIGHT TO HIM!


Recovery Badge Tee | Pre-order Now

Greg Watts Recovery badge tee


Auction Items:


Haro Bikes

· Full 4130 chromoly frame w/ internal head tube, Euro BB shell, removable cable guides, and our "Six-Shooter" interchangeable dropout system
· Pivotal seat and post
· Tektro Draco hydraulic rear brake with 160mm wave rotor
· Alienation Skylark double-wall rims
· 6000 series alloy CNC'd Thin Pedal w/removable pins and sealed bearings
· Syncros FR38 OS double-butted alloy riser bar and FR50 V2 OS alloy stem
· Three-piece chromoly 175mm 8-spline cranks w/ 6000-series alloy 25t sprocket
· X Fusion Velvet R 80mm travel suspension fork with X-15 tool-less 15mm thru axle
· Available in two sizes: Short (21.8"" TT) and Long (22.3" TT)
· Ritchey Logic Zero Comp internal headset

FOX Shox: 831 Fox Fork

FiveTen Shoes: 2 pairs of shoes (size and model of your choice)

Gamut: 5 Gamut chainguides

Rockstar Energy Drink: Signed Rockstar BMX helmet

Smith Optics: 3 signed Smith goggles

Easton: Aluminum wheel set (hub spacing of your choice)

Giro: Full Face Carbon remedy helmet and a half shell section (both in sizes of your choice)


Greg Watts


bigquotesSpecial thanks to Ryan Howard, Tyler McCaul, Bjorn Aunet, and Andrew Taylor for helping me out while I was in the hospital as well as at the scene of the accident. I'd also like to thank everyone who gave me words of encouragement and positive thoughts as well as my sponsors Haro, Rockstar, Giro, Easton, Chainlink Clothing, Fox Shox, Gamut USA, Five Ten, Maxxis, Smith, and Shimano for sticking by me through my time of recovery. I'll be back with a vengeance before you know it! - Greg Watts


bigquotesSometimes watching one of your best buds hit the dirt is worse than actually hitting the dirt yourself, and last Wednesday was one of those moments for me. Watching Greg bail out on a double flip was scary as hell and is something that I wish I could erase from my memory, but I'm grateful that we took the proper precautions to get him in an ambulance and off to the hospital safely. He's a tough mother F'er and there's no doubt in my mind that he'll bounce back from this and continue to make the impossible look possible on his bike in the very near future. Sometimes even the best make mistakes, but it takes a true champ to get back up. Heal up homie, you're a champ! - Tyler McCaul


bigquotesSeeing one of your best friends go down is never a fun time, so I'm just glad we can all be there for him on his road to recovery. Greg's a strong dude and I'm sure he'll be back stronger than ever in no time! - Bjorn Aunet

Follow up on Greg's recovery status at :
http://www.facebook.com/chainlinkclothing

From your CLC family..."We wish you a fast and healthy recovery, brother!"

We've developed a dedicated mini-site for Greg's cause HERE

AUCTION INFORMATION - Place your name, email, and the amount that you would like to bid on each page in the form. It will then post to that page and once the deadline for all bids is reached, we will take the highest bid and contact you personally.

www.chainlinkclothing.com


140 Comments

  • 152 1
 Sucks to hear hope you heal up strong and quick Greg! I think that's stupid that Rock star or your other sponsors wont combine to pay the bill the same situation is happening with Sarah Burke s family Monster is only paying half leaving the family with a $250 000.00 medical bill. The rest of the big energy drink companies should be like Red bull who pay the full hospital bill for there riders.
  • 91 1
 Absolutely agreed. Sponsorship is a gamble, and companies should stand up for their athletes whether they win or lose. You're putting your life on the line and making peanuts compared to the incredibly ordinary skills of most 'professional' athletes.
  • 10 80
flag rhiwfawrdirt (Jan 23, 2012 at 12:44) (Below Threshold)
 ye but redbull makes quite a bit more money than monster and you cant forget that they arnt a non profitable business
  • 59 2
 there should be a boycott on sponsors who don't stand 100% behind their riders in such cases.
  • 32 2
 There should be a law for sponsors to pay for their riders medical bills in accidents such as Greg's
  • 66 1
 A responsible employer should ensure that their athletes have an appropriate level of health insurance, then the insurance would cover medical expenses and there would be no massive bills.
  • 32 1
 lol, i would like to see the insurance company's risk analysis
  • 7 1
 Sarah Burke's family also raised more than they needed to cover all of the medical bills. www.giveforward.com/sarahburke?t=2 Get well soon Greg!
  • 22 1
 Sarah Burkes family WAS left with a giant hospital bill but thanks to the hundreds of people who donated they ended up with more money than the actual hospital fees and are starting up a foundation in her name. We need to do the same thing for Greg, if his sponsors can only cover half of his bill then rather than complaining we should buy a T-shirt or participate in the auction the same way we did for the "I ride for Nicks eyes"
  • 2 1
 Greg double or nothing watts just had to go for a double broken vertebrae couldn't just deal with one broken. Really hope everything works out and really hope you can get back to riding in the near future. hope its a fast and smooth recovery.
  • 3 2
 speedy recovery greg! hope to see you back on the bike soon!
  • 2 1
 if he doesn't sell all his bikes to help his family pay for the bill....
  • 8 1
 @iamamodel but the Employer should still pay for that small bill. The rider is risking their life just so that Redbull for example can get their name out more. The riders need to have the security knowing that no matter if they break they're arm or fracture their spinal cord and are now paralyzed from the waist down, that the sponsor will pay the medical bills.
  • 2 1
 @Speedbean I really agree on that one.
  • 1 0
 @speedbean, yes, I agree. I wasn't explicit in my comment that I think the sponsor should pay their athletes' insurance.
  • 2 0
 he supper lucky that he hasn't had any spinal chord damage considering where those breaks are, Greg is a legend his double tail whip back flip 360 in barred for life was insane! stocked to see Barred for Life 2 to bad about the accident with Greg though, hope he has speedy recovery.
  • 1 0
 i compressed my L1 50% and shattered it like 6 times, recovery was 6 months, it takes a while but stick in there man, your gonna be fine!
  • 7 0
 Pathetic the usa has the worst medical system out of any 1st world country!


The Chainlink T-Shirts are only 25$.... GO BUY ! ! !

Gotta support this guy considering his own country and ROCKSTAR energy drinks will not!!!
  • 1 0
 Bought the shirt.
Its only 23€ incl. shipping!

Go buy it guys!
  • 7 0
 sorry to hear that and all the best to greg.

but its not any stupid sponsors, its the f*cked up health care system which is wrong and needs to be changed! he or sara burke didnt choose to have that crash and those injuries. so why should any person pay for such medical bills? thats why there are insurance companys and they have to pay for it - thats what they are for. and nobody would need to raise funds for anybody.

dont know how long it takes until you finally get it.
  • 2 2
 While I agree that it would be awesome if these companies offered health insurance to their sponsored athletes, I don't believe they should be forced to do so. They should have the freedom to run their company as they see fit. Athletes looking for sponsorship should be aware of this and should consider the risk/gain.
  • 3 0
 ^^ A prudent company would do it as part of their risk management strategy. Lets say an athlete on a photo shoot for their sponsor gets injured. He ends up with a $250 000 medical bill. He then finds an ambulance chasing lawyer working pro bono and sues the sponsor for the medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income etc etc. Sponsor loses the suit (which I think is a reasonable outcome of this scenario). The sponsor is now out $400 000. Sponsor thinks "If only we had paid that $4000 in health insurance, we'd be $396 000 better off."
  • 3 0
 either way, hes gonna be playing ALOT of canvas rider!
  • 27 1
 Best wishes Greg! So glad to read that it wasn't worse and that you'll be back relatively soon.
  • 21 1
 whats with all these horrible injuries/fatalities in extreme sports at the moment?!?!
  • 27 3
 2012
  • 4 0
 We do gnarly stuff.
  • 3 0
 Healing vibes from the PNW!!
  • 1 0
 like pull some mint skids an T bars!!
  • 16 1
 get well soon Greg
  • 4 1
 My stomach is all knotted up from reading this!! That said get well soon Greg!
  • 2 0
 I'm super glad Watts will be alright, burst fracture at C1 is a pretty big deal, your a lucky guy, heres wishing a speedy recovery!
  • 13 1
 Exactly the kind of crash that Steven Murray had. Greg you're a lucky man, best wishes
  • 3 1
 Lucky he's going to recover from it...
  • 3 1
 J lusk was killed from landing on his neck. Get well soon greg
  • 12 1
 Shit man, surprising how many riders get spinal injury's these days, last summer i broke my C3, C4, C5 and C7 and it bloody hurt i can tell you that! Get well soon eh?
  • 7 1
 , i had this kind of injury 8 month ago , C1 and C2 fractured = 5 month without mouvement staying in a bed .. i can ride now ..need just relax without neck mouvement .

Keep in my mind that u ll ride again and again.
Get well soon Mr Watts!
  • 3 0
 Man it sucks to hear this. Greg is such a cool dude. The hospital situation sounds terrible! Unless a prisoner has a broken skull or a collapsed lung or something else of that urgency, which I'm sure some of them did, the free man who broke his back doing his fucking job should get priority. No question about that. Being injured sucks, but best of luck with the healing process and I'm sure you'll storm back into the bike scene like a badass when the time comes.
  • 4 0
 Not to judge any ER since I know how busy an ER can be (I work in one!) But why did a possible C-spine injury have to wait out in the hallway? Lucky that his injury wasn't made worse while he had to wait.
  • 2 0
 And here all these football/baseball/basketball fruitcakes get paid *what?!* to do 'what?' and get babied when they boo-boo their ankel/elbow.

I agree, big time sponsors like RB need to step up to the plate. Especially for *this* kind of sport where an actual risk is involved and Now.
  • 1 0
 Either way, shirt bought. I'll spread this on Twitter and FB. Get well soon Greg.
  • 3 1
 Riders need to accept more personal responsibility. When you crash a car it's your fault, same with bikes. Don't try to pull crazy tricks if you don't have a back up plan ie. appropiate amount of insurance. It's not the USA health care systems fault you tried a double back flip on your bike. Sounds mean don't blame everyone else when the shit hits the fan.
  • 2 0
 Boycott any company that doesn't support their athletes. Go buy one of Greg's shirts instead of spending your money on lame energy drinks. Rockstar and Monster are opportunists; you shouldn't support companies that treat their athletes this way.
  • 2 1
 this is very sad one of the riders i love the most is down and in soo much pain, it is time for his rockstar sponsor to realize that they should help pay for his bill as he is basically like a money making advertisment for them so they should help him out! i think i speak for everyone when i say get well Greg!!
  • 1 0
 well fellow bike lover/brother the worst part over and that is not knowing when and how it'd happen. your scar will be a badge of rank. I solute you as a superior officer and I wish you a speedy recovery because you still have a hundred and something other bones to break and little time to do it. I hope the love that you put into that bike remains persistent surrounding you during your recovery.
  • 1 0
 everybody goes down sooner or later we all know thats just part of this great sport, its how get back up that counts!

get well soon and heal up bro all the dirt jumps & slopstyle courses will be waiting for you when your better.
  • 1 0
 These are indeed terrible news, and we all send our best energy to Greg, to help him hang in the process, and wish him a full recovery.

Still, it made me wonder, arent all sponsored and pro riders covered with medical insurance by their sponsors?
This seems to be quite unfair.

Gotta say, kudos, to all of those trying to raise funds, and money to help.

Get well Greg!
  • 1 0
 I just wanna say get well soon, and I'm from "Bakers Field" (it's actually Bakersfield,) and it is not as bad as this article by chainlink makes it out to be. Yeah we have a lot of illegals that work in our farms, we have a lot of crime, and a lot of smog. But thankfully, those first two are only concentrated to certain areas of town.

As far as riding, land owners are pretty cool with building on their cattle grazing land, you can ride dirt bikes and bikes pretty much anywhere, we're 45 minutes from woodward west, an hour from Kernville/Keyesville. On top of that, we got the beach 2 hours away, So Cal 2 hours away, Santa Cruz/Nor Cal 3-4 hours away.

The point is: ITS NOT THAT BAD, lol. Also, I'm assuming he's at Kern Medical Center, he would be in a much better situation at San Joaquin Community Hospital just down the road, but I know insurance/cost and all that is obviously factored in.
  • 1 0
 my son overshot a 30 ft gap by 15' after clearing a 20 ft gapper - landed on his face, his full face lid disintegrated at the front [ as it should have ! scorpioned next and broke his back [ t10 ] his nose, black eyes, concussion, whiplash, massive bruises and VERY sore ribs - he then 'walked' part of the way down a mountain for almost an hour as his friend could not take him in a bouncing truck on the logging 'roads' - he was told by physicians it would be 3 mos before any riding at all - 7.5 weeks later he is stunting again; his response to this accident : i am not going to quit something that i love that mostly has small injury risk and, i will NEVER attempt a stunt again without a neck brace AND some kind of back armor - AND if the stunt possibility is too awkward with these, then it's time to go - sometimes it takes brains AND balls to NOT do a stunt...
  • 1 0
 I know I'm responding way late on this but it's a gd shame that companies are that ruthless to the ones who build the image of their company. If anyone pays attention to NFL, the same nonsupport has been happening with them for years. I'd say, extreme athletes need to create an association that is able to go and fight for their needs against the big $ companies. class action lawsuit can change the industry quickly, for the better. I hate suing and think it's ridiculous, but in this case I see it helping tons and completely justified. End rant.
  • 1 0
 I think that a neck brace may have prevented the C1 fracture but the T3 Vertebrae is a little too far down for a neck brace to help any. Hope you have a speedy recovery Greg. I want to see you in Rampage, if not this year then in the next one.
  • 5 1
 Get well Greg! Can't wait to see you back on your bike!
  • 2 1
 This is what happens sometimes when your on top & pushing the bar. Very upsetting, it couldn't happen to a better athlete. My best wishes to you Greg. Heal up quickly your bike misses you, I'm sure. Best wishes Buds.
  • 3 1
 You are lucky brother !! Bad as it seems.....LUCKY !!! I wish you a speedy recovery and blessings to help you get through this.
  • 1 0
 Shit.. I'm currently recovering from a t2 fracture in my neck and a c3 in my upper back. I had a halo on for months, it's so good hearing you wont be paralyzed and you'll make a full recovery. get well soon!
  • 1 0
 such shitty news, i hate hearing about this stuff.

...im just curious so dont hate but if you're a Canadian citizen and get travelers insurance. are you covered for all medical expenses?
  • 1 0
 Would depend on how good of insurance you bought. I doubt any company would cover all, unless you got supplemental insurance. Call Aflac.
  • 3 0
 hope he gets better quick. Oh and here's to sponge baths from hawt lady nurses.
  • 1 0
 Sorry to hear about the crash, I wish you a full and fast recovery. I was wondering something... If a person were to have the same crash wearing a Leatt brace, would the brace even help in this situation?
  • 1 0
 I can't help in any monetary way, but it always sucks to see a rider in a bad way. Hope you recover ASAP, Greg, and start throwing it down again soon, the DJ world won't be the same without you!
  • 1 0
 Soon as I saw the description of how it happened, I instantly though 'Stephen Murray', Watts is lucky here and hope he has a speedy recovery! Lots of serious accidents lately in the extreme sports world, R.I.P Sarah Burke.
  • 1 0
 the Response written by "Chuck_Quinton" is the most intelligent thing I've seen relating to this topic:

www.vitalmtb.com/news/news/Greg-Watts-Injury-Update-and-Fundraiser,421
  • 1 0
 Greg my best wishes to you buddy. I know you will over come this. A scary obstacle non the less. My friend brian miller broke his back while riding for haro bikes also. He's lucky to be riding.
  • 2 1
 I know how you feel I fractured my c1 and c2 a month ago and am still wearing a brace. It gets better don't worry Smile Get well soon
  • 2 1
 Get well soon man.....It might not seem like it right now but you will recover. I shattered 7 vertebrae 18 months ago and am back riding.
  • 2 1
 7? ducking hell, and i thought 4 was nasty!
  • 2 1
 7 vertebrae and 22 ribs?!? What did you do?.. glad you're back on a bike!! That must have sucked...
  • 2 1
 This kind of stuff happens when you're the front runner of a very progressive sport

I'm sure he will be fine, guy's the trick robot remember?
He'll be back in no time
  • 2 1
 10 years ago I'v had similiar C1 injury, and Th7&8 fracture.
I hope you'll get better soon Greg,good luck.
It's so sad to hear about sportsmen crashes,Sarah,you.
  • 1 0
 heal up buddy!!! i still cant believe that american hospitals are run like corporations. Not saying we dont pay for healthcare here.
  • 1 0
 It was bound to happen eventually with the amount of backflip variations that Watts does. Its good to hear that He'll be ok though!
  • 1 0
 Best of luck Greg, I daresay all of us on PB (-half brained trolls) wish you a speedy recovery so you can get out there and do your thing. Peace Smile
  • 1 0
 All good thoughts and best of luck with this horrible injury. Just remember that great night you had at Whistler in August of 2009. I will, that was awsome!
  • 1 0
 Those 1st hours up untill the more positive news of recovery must have been hell. I wish you a speedy recovery and good luck.
  • 1 0
 dude worst crash ever my brother might have felt the same say he actually broke his collar bone in 3 places and he had to get 11 screw in his collar bone
  • 2 1
 I only just heard about this now! Gutted for him. Hope he recovers fast and fully!
  • 2 1
 Greg, wish you a quick and full recovery, hope to see you shredding in whistler at crankworx!
  • 3 2
 Greg is soo damm lucky that he didn't got paralysed after that crash,get well soon.
  • 3 1
 Lucky he didnt get worse, hope he gets better soon.
  • 2 1
 i hope you get better faster than anyone has ever done before! cant wait to see you shreddin again!
  • 2 1
 Bummer he had to wait for convicts to get checked out first. Get well soon.
  • 2 1
 Damn! Best wishes to Greg. MAkes you glad to be in UK for free health care.
  • 2 1
 All the best Greg! You inspire many, now let us inspire you. Stay strong. Stay positive.
  • 2 1
 keep yourself positive Greg, you will heal..everyone has you in their thoughts and prayers brother....
  • 1 0
 Fark!, bad news...Greg Watts has been giving gravity the big finger for some time now...
  • 1 0
 I think its sad they made him wait for six hours at the hospital, just to get evaluated. Get well soon! Hang in there
  • 1 0
 Come on buddy!! We're there for you. Keep going strong and you'll get through it.
  • 1 0
 Good luck greggy get back on the bike and keep on progressing! youve got this buddy
  • 2 0
 Healing vibes Greg! Not to long before your killin it again!
  • 1 0
 maybe if he wore a full face and leatt brace this wouldn't have happened. oh wait, i forgot he is too cool for that.
  • 1 0
 get well soon greg!
if he was filming for: Barred For Life 2 was it on film? if so where is it?
  • 3 1
 oh shit get well soon
  • 2 1
 Can't wait to hear he's all well to ride again!
  • 3 1
 Get well soon Greg!
  • 2 1
 Shocking.. Get well soon Greg!!!!!
  • 2 1
 get well soon dood! good luck !
  • 3 1
 Get well soon man!
  • 2 1
 Rough go buddy. Keep strong!
  • 2 1
 You'll be back in no time superman!
  • 2 1
 Ordered the shirt.... Damn... get well Greg...
  • 2 1
 We are thinking of you Greg, get well soon!
  • 2 1
 Does anyone know if he was wearing a neck brace?
  • 1 0
 That sucks a lot, sounds pretty sketchy!
  • 1 0
 Heal fast and push through it.. I hope you feel better quickly.
  • 1 0
 Was he wearing a Leat Brace? Would that have helped?
  • 3 2
 Glad it is not worse mate. God is with you. Get better soon...
  • 1 0
 very Frown My dad has a broken vertebrae to
  • 1 0
 How much is Greg's bill gonna be?
  • 1 0
 i had to wear that exact thing when I broke my neck. Heal up
  • 1 0
 Prayin for ya brother......and I don't pray often! Heal up brother.
  • 1 0
 get well soon. what a trooper! Smile
  • 1 0
 let the biding begin! get better man.
  • 1 0
 Get Better Soon man!!! Full recovery !!
  • 1 0
 aaaaaaaaa....shit happens !!!!
  • 1 0
 U could always move to Canada? Free Health Care FTW!
  • 1 0
 Hope you a fast recovery!
  • 1 0
 Dammmm dude. Went for it props. Gett better soon. Bro. We all need you
  • 1 0
 Damn i feel sorry for this guy! get better
  • 1 0
 healin vibes buddy ~~~~~~
  • 1 0
 Is he going to be able to walk again?
  • 3 2
 Get well soon Greg!! Smile
  • 2 1
 Get well soon Dude
  • 2 2
 Get well soon Greg..You are amazing rider!
  • 2 1
 get well soon man!
  • 2 1
 Get Better Greg!!
  • 2 1
 Get better soon Greg!!!
  • 2 1
 Get well soon mate!
  • 2 1
 Get better soon!
  • 2 1
 Get Better Greg!!
  • 1 0
 Get well soon!!
  • 1 0
 get well soon Mr. Watts
  • 1 0
 Recent recovery Greg!
  • 1 0
 Get well Greg!
  • 1 0
 hows he doing now
  • 2 3
 Ban the double backflip!
  • 3 0
 Or require a full face & neck brace for any rider trying multiple flips, front or back, for all bicycle jumping competitions. It would send a good message to the jumpers, it definitely is a very risky stunt, I remember Scotty Cramner busting his teeth out trying a double. Sunts like these aren't worth the risk of injuries like these,
  • 1 0
 Stephan Murray...pretty sure guettler got broke off doing one as well.
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