Canadian Snowboarder Mark McMorris Wins Bronze

Feb 27, 2014

Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris is back on his home turf, basking in the glow of the admiration of fans both new and old. His is fast becoming a familiar face and a household name as he managed to snatch home a bronze medal in the 2014 Sochi games despite competing with a rib injury. It was Canada's first medal in this year's Winter Olympics.

The 20-year-old snowboarding innovator returned to his hometown, Regina, to be greeted with recognition and cheers no matter where he went. While on a victory tour, in an interview with The Globe and Mail, McMorris related the story of being recognized and met by security while attending a recent Raptors basketball game.

"They put the camera on me," McMorris said. "At one point I stood up to stretch and like, poof. Security finally found me and I said I can handle my fans. They said, 'You have a medal in your pocket. We're going to stay near and make sure nothing happens."

McMorris is currently on a media tour. He said it is because of earlier media meetings that he had the medal on his person while attending the game. The medals at Sochi all contain a small piece of a meteor that hit Russia's Ural region in February of 2013.

McMorris won the bronze despite living up to his nickname, McRib. While competing in the Winter X Games prior to the Olympics, he fractured a rib during the third and final run of his signature slopestyle event. He continued on to Sochi and told reporters that he felt "remarkably good" even though the injury was only a few days old.

During his competition at the Olympics, McMorris experience some early setbacks. He fell on his first run to qualify, and scored too low on his second run to make it through directly to the finals. He did qualify in the semi's, though, by scoring in the top four. At the finals, McMorris again fell on his first run, but his third time on the slope was good enough for a bronze.

McMorris said he was confused and frustrated by the judging in the Olympics slopestyle event. "I didn't know what they were looking for," he said. "You go there doing the run you want to do and you're happy for that and that's all you can ask for."

Other snowboarders were turning in prime performances, McMorris said. The level of riding was "the highest it's ever been. There were new tricks every run." As for his own performance, McMorris sent fans a tweet afterward saying that he had ridden his heart and was "very satisfied."

Given he was competing with an injury and given the amount of pressure he had been under to perform well at the Olympics, McManus said he was just glad "the roller-coaster ride" is over. "Now it's like a huge monkey off my back," he told The Globe and Mail.

After the win, he quickly realised how beloved his performance had made him. He tweeted, "The amount of love that has come in over the past 24 hrs is UNBELIEVABLE! I love you all!!!"

Mark McMorris has been a known contender on the snowboarding circuit for the past few years. He won gold medals back-to-back in the 2012 and 2013 Winter X Games in the run up to his Olympic appearance. He was the first to successfully complete a backside triple cork 1440 in competition. Despite his rib injury, he came in second in slopestyle in the 2014 Winter X Games to Max Parrot, a fellow Canadian.

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