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Mark McMorris: Five things about snowboarding’s brilliant and resilient trailblazer

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 04:  Mark McMorris of Canada competes during the Air-Style Beijing 2015 Snowboard World Cup at Beijing National Stadium on December 4, 2015 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Mark McMorris has become one of the leading lights of the snowboarding world, wowing crowds with his vast array of tricks and marrying that style with substance to earn a bulging collection of Winter X Games gold medals. Here are five things worth knowing about the super-talented Canadian.

Sweet sixteen

A prodigious talent in his mid-teens, McMorris won the first ever World Cup slopestyle which he entered at the age of 16 back in January 2010. At his Winter X Games debut the following year he finished second in the slopestyle event before winning both slopestyle and big air gold in 2012. His big air title in Norway in 2017 took his gold X Games haul to seven.

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Skateboarding passion

A keen sportsman growing up in Canada, he tried everything from hockey to lacrosse, and also had a passion for skateboarding. It was between that latter love and snowboarding which turned him to winter sports and he was hooked. He would board as late as possible on Sundays before returning home late that night in time for just enough sleep for school on Monday. He eventually missed grades 11 and 12 because of his sporting commitments.

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A thirst for firsts

He has a propensity for firsts. He was the first athlete ever to complete a backside triple cork 1440 and was also the first person in the history of the Winter X Games to score 98 in a snowboard slopestyle. He is, though, still on the lookout for an elusive first Olympic gold medal.

Injury nightmare

He turned up at the last Olympic Winter Games injured having broken a rib but still remarkably defied the pain barrier to win bronze. No stranger to injuries, he broke his femur in February 2016 but was back in competition by July. At the end of last season, in late March 2017, he suffered his worst crash yet while in Whistler. He fractured his jaw, left arm, pelvis and ribs, as well as sustaining a collapsed left lung and rupturing his spleen.

Ice cream addict

McMorris has described himself as a bit of an ice cream addict, to the extent that in one interview he claimed to eat it every day. The snowboarder’s flavours of choice are Oreo Blizzard, cookies ‘n cream or coffee.

 

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