Regina snowboarder completes comeback from coma to earn second straight slopestyle bronze.
PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA—Every sport is about possibility. Some are also about having to swallow your fear. Slopestyle is snowboarding that isn’t quite the third-floor apartment fall of the halfpipe, but it’s about pushing to the edge, or as close as you dare, with the chance to fall. That’s how you can be great.
Canada sent four boys down the hill and into the air at the Olympic slopestyle final Sunday morning, and only one of them was Mark McMorris of Regina, Sask. We could sweep the podium, we said. They couldn’t all win, but they could all lose.
McMorris entered the final of three runs in the gold-medal position. He was passed by American Redmond Gerard, the 115-pound 17-year-old, the future. McMorris needed one more big run. But he fell on his final jump, and fell to silver.
Fellow Canadian Max Parrot, who fell on his first two runs, was the one who threw down a monster, on his last chance. Parrot took silver, and McMorris fell to bronze, same as in Sochi, when he competed with a broken rib. On the final runs, when it came to the last chance, it was others who beat McMorris. That’s the game.
The course was an artificial paradise of valleys and peaks, and that was about right. Canadian Tyler Nicholson fell in his wobbly first run, sliding on his chest. Canuck Sebastien Toutant landed on his posterior on his initial try. McMorris laid down a safe, spectacular run, and Parrot crashed out on a jump. After the first runs, McMorris was third; Parrot fifth; Nicholson and Toutant ninth and 10th.
You get three, though. You get three chances to be great. Nicholson’s second run was a 76.41, good for third; Toutant slipped. Parrot fell again.
And McMorris put down a huge run, full of solid rails and skyscraping jumps. It was awesome, and he received an 85.20, good for first by a good mile. He wasn’t afraid. It just didn’t hold.