A Bizzare Crash Leaves Tristan Lemire Recovering from a Broken Arm

Jan 21, 2022 at 13:44
by Matt Beer  
First World Cup podium for Tristan Lemire. P3 for the young Canadian.

Tristan Lemire was on roll at the end of the 2021 World Cup Downhill series with three finishes in the top five in the Junior Men's category, his first year on the race circuit. Over the holiday season, the young gun was training in Windrock, Tennessee when he suffered a savagely broken arm in two places during an unlucky crash where he got caught on something unexpectedly and was thrown from his bike.

We reached out to Tristan to check in and see how he was feeling and to hear more about his unfortunate freak accident.

bigquotesI was down south at Windrock over the holidays for some training, but overall just to take advantage of some nice weather and escape Quebec’s freezing winter!

I was out on the mountain for some training and once that was done, I ended up checking out a newly built trail. I was on my brakes checking the top of a steeper section and without knowing it, something on my left side got stuck in a tree. When I let go of the brakes to start my descent, my arm was stuck and made me flip over the bars. Once I hit the ground, I felt a sharp pain and I knew something was wrong: the torsion of my left arm due to the way I fell made my humerus snap in two.

The diagnosis: a displaced spiral fracture of the distal one third of the humerus shaft. Not very funny if you asked me! Luckily my nerve was not affected by the injury or from the operation.

The orthopaedic surgeon who operated on my arm performed a specific operation that would allow the fastest recovery possible. I was able to get in for emergency surgery on January 1st. My cast came off on January 14th, and I started physio right away, focusing on range of motion to start, eventually progressing to weight bearing exercises by mid-February.

I am currently at home in Montreal, focusing on physio and school. With Lourdes two months away, I’ve started working with my trainer again, obviously keeping any activity adapted to my physical limitations.

Presuming all goes well and as planned, I am hoping to get back on the bike by the beginning of March, exactly two months after my operation. Although the situation is far from ideal, this should give me enough time to prepare for Lourdes. Of course, this is subject to my bone healing properly so I’m doing everything I can to speed up the process!

We have no doubt that Tristan will bounce back from this injury and be back up to speed in no time, but wish him all the best on his recovery. His motivation to pick up where he left off in his prosperous breakout season shows with his positivity and focus on the tasks at hand before the first round of the 2022 World Cup season kicks off in Lourdes, France.


  • 77 2
 Not humerous
  • 22 6
 @butthed: stoked to see you get banned!!!
  • 7 1
 Consider this - sometimes young developers build bots in comment sections for fun. However, seeing how effective they are when it comes to engagement, sometimes the actual platforms themselves deploy these bots in order to rack up engagement time and clicks. Basically trolling their own sites because they know people will engage with those types of posts. Wink.
  • 3 1
 @butthed: A goldfish would do better !
  • 3 4
 @NYShred: I've always suspected that. Or perhaps just deploying a resident troll, like Waki to fire everyone up. Curiously, Waki went away when PB made a commitment to be more politically correct last year. Or was it the year before?
  • 35 3
 I'm interested in who pays for the healthcare....Like is he responsible for it? Does Canada chip in and help...because getting hurt like that in America is going to be a pretty penny. I'd like pinkbike to cover that part of the story as it's a BIG part of this dude's life now.

  • 8 0
 I was once told that Canadians sometimes buy insurance for US travel. I do not think their healthcare system chips in and the individual hurt is expected to pay.
  • 7 0
 @DHRAW: that's more or less correct I think, I always buy health insurance when I go to the states in general, but especially if I'm riding.
  • 6 0
 @DHRAW: Insurance explicitly DOES NOT cover you if you are a pro and riding any sort of contest or event. As at Junior and training maybe he can categorize it as recreational riding which would be covered, but I wouldn't want have to fight my insurance company.

PSA: it goes both ways; if you're an American visiting Whistler or even a Canadian from out of province, spend the few bucks to buy a policy. If you're not travelling in the USA it's ltierally a few bucks per day.
  • 3 0
 @DHRAW: Yeah some people are so stupid and want to save a couple of dollars and go in another country without insurance.... good luck if something like this happens in the USA!!! He probably had something as he was not racing but I really don't know.
  • 3 0
 @plyawn: for Canadians out of province traveling inside canada they don't need a private insurance. The cost of the healthcare is paid by a provincial or territorial government under federal law access Canada. Although two options are given to the Md for remuneration. Either he will charge the province of the patients origin in their tarifs or he can charge the patient under his provincial tarifs and said patient can then ask reimbursement from his provincial government.
  • 2 0
 My understanding is that your home province’s health care insurance will reimburse what it would have cost in said home province. You would then be responsible for the difference in actual cost versus that reimbursement level.

FYI health care is a provincial (state) jurisdiction and not federal. I’m only mentioning this in case you are wondering why I’m taking about provinces and not Canada.
  • 3 0
 Exactly: please share the med expense side. And give major props to the surgeon here! Unbelievable recovery thankfully.
  • 2 0
 The x-ray shows 'Debout' (upright), so I have to assume that x-ray was taken in Canada, but does that mean the surgery was done in Canada too?
  • 4 0
 @plyawn: Top 5 in a World Cup race, even if it's junior, he'll have race insurance.
  • 2 0
 @iamamodel: now don’t quote me on this but I remember him making a trip back to Montreal right around when this happened so I’m pretty sure he got all the work done for free in Quebexico (being he isn’t old enough to pay taxes yet)…
  • 21 0
 Damn I didn’t know frank the welder was doing broke down bone repair now too... seriously though that’s a f*ckton of metal for an arm
  • 10 0
 I had this exact injury about 18months ago, its no joke, but the best most vital advice I have to give is get that shoulder moving ASAP (even the basic shoulder rolls) just to avoid any risk of a frozen shoulder - my biggest regret was not mobilizing my shoulder sooner in the healing / rehab, I'm sure your doctors will tell you but keen to share my experience.
  • 5 0
 Couldn't agree more. I had shattered my tib and fib last year skiing and they had me trying to move my knee and ankle 1 day post op and everyday following. Because of this I got full mobility back in 6 months. Who knows when, or if it would have come back if I had waited. Its painful but you have to get moving!!
  • 5 0
 Sitting in the waiting room at an ortho at this very moment. Dealing with frozen shoulder after an accident more than a year ago. Likely due to not getting the shoulder moving after the wreck. In absolute agreement with your advice.
  • 2 0
 @specializ20: I broke my tib/fib and did not have a physio guy that cared, and I didn’t know any better. Now I have about half the range of motion in my ankle, and it’s constantly getting hung up on something and I have to yank on my foot with both hands. Then it crunches and pops and I can move it again.
  • 2 0
 @specializ20: I also shattered my tib skiing when I was young - couldn't plate it due to my age (growing bones!) - had a cast up to mid-thigh so couldn't move the knee and ankle for 3 months. It was bad. Fortunately had good physio (Swiss healthcare system!) but took a long time to regain mobility, and I still remember when the knee joint finally 'broke' - probably the most agonising pain in my life!
  • 2 0
 @jason3559: How long have you had the frozen shoulder?
  • 2 0
 @Baller7756: Off the bike Oct 2020. Frozen shoulder started about a month afterwards. PT throughout 2021. Still have mobility limits but better than it used to be. Of course I kept riding throughout.

Ortho diagnosed it as advanced osteo-arthritis. Probably will push that out as far as possible. It’s a quality of life call.
  • 2 0
 @jason3559: Hmm... bummer. I'm currently dealing with a frozen shoulder (maybe 6-7 months). Ortho says it should return for near normal in a year or so. I tried PT for a few months... and I did seem to gain some range but it was still severely limited. Now I'm just playing the waiting game... dealing with the pain and limitations.
  • 7 0
 The cause of the accident is absolutely bewildering.
"..something on my left side got stuck in a tree...made be flip over the bars.."

I just can't imagine it. What gets stuck? How? Idunno.

Anyhow - I'm sending healing vibes to this athlete.
  • 1 0
 New trail...branch or some sort of trail marker?
  • 8 0
 man that humerus plate is so long wtf
  • 2 0
 No kidding. Does that get removed eventually?
  • 2 0
 @neimbc: Nope, not unless it starts to pose some problem.
  • 2 0
 Nope. Can stay in forever. Humerus plates always need to be much longer and thicker than you’d think.
  • 3 0
 Which shows the surgeon knew what he or she was doing. If the plate is too short there is a chance there's too much movement ilat the "fracture gap" which can lead to nonunion. I only recovered in november of last year from a more than 1-year old fracture because the plate used in the original surgery was too short.
  • 7 0
 Looks like they removed the rivets from his torso during the surgery as well. Why not, you know.
  • 5 0
 We all hope you heal up fast Tristan!
  • 3 0
 Come and crash in the UK - healthcare wont cost you anything. My taxes pay for your crashes Smile
  • 1 0
 Heal up soon Tristan, see you on the mountain soon buddy! \m/
  • 1 0
 Wear that diaper and die. Hope you're doing better!
  • 1 0
 Heal well Tristan, all the best with it!
  • 1 0
 What’s this all Debout?
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Don't rush it
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