McMorris, Parrot lead Canada’s Olympic big air and slopestyle snowboard team

WHISTLER, B.C. — Mark McMorris and Max Parrot will lead Canada’s Olympic slopestyle and big air snowboard team at next month’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

McMorris’s Olympic involvement was in doubt last year when he was seriously hurt in a backcountry snowboarding accident in March, with injuries including fractures to his jaw, left arm, pelvis and ribs as well as a ruptured spleen and collapsed left lung. He was airlifted to hospifal and underwent emergency surgery to control bleeding and repair his jaw and arm.

But McMorris showed he is ready in his first event after his recovery, winning gold in big air at a World Cup stop in Beijing in late November.

The Regina native, a seven-time Winter X Games champion, won bronze in slopestyle at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“I’m looking forward to having similar feelings leaving as I did last time and I’m stoked that I rode to the best of my ability when it mattered,” McMorris said in a release. “I think it’s really cool to go and represent Canada and I’m looking forward to it because the nation seems to care a lot about the Olympic Games.”

Parrot, from Bromont, Que., has four podium finishes this World Cup season (two gold, two silver) and has won six career X Games medals.

Other nominees include six-time X Games medallist Sebastien Toutant of L’Assomption, Que., 2016 X Games women’s slopestyle champion Spencer O’Brien of Courtenay, B.C., and 2017 slopestyle world champion Laurie Blouin of Stoneham, Que.

“It feels good to get a spot again,” McMorris said.

The other team members are Tyler Nicholson of North Bay, Ont., and Brooke Voigt of Fort McMurray, Alta.

“The strength of our snowboard team reflects the incredible depth Canada has in this exciting sport,” Canada chef de mission Isabelle Charest said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to cheering these athletes on as they challenge for the podium in Pyeongchang.”

Snowboard slopestyle will take place at the Phoenix Snow Park, Feb. 10-12. Big air will take place on a specially constructed ramp at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre, Feb. 19-24.

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