What’s your type of guy? When asked that common question, my mind immediately jumps to a certain snowboarder I first saw on TV at the 2012 Winter X Games. As a Coloradan who grew up skiing and snowboarding, the Winter X Games are always on my radar, and that year this competitor stuck out to me with both his looks and his skills. Mark McMorris, a Canadian slopestyle shredder, won bronze that year and I’ve loved him ever since.
Mark was born and raised in Saskatchewan, Canada and followed his older brother into the realm of Olympic snowboarding. He travels the world training and perfecting his craft, following the snow wherever there’s winter. He has become one of the most accomplished snowboarders to have ever lived, as his website says, “In 2011, he became the first person to land a backside triple cork 1440, a trick so difficult it was once thought impossible. In 2012, at the age of 18, he became one of the few people to win double gold at the same Winter X Games event, with a victory in both slopestyle and Big Air (where he also landed the first triple in X Games history). He’s gone on to claim 14 X Games medals and counting, and a bronze medal at the debut of snowboard slopestyle at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.”
In March of 2017, while working on a snowboarding movie with some of his friends, McMorris almost lost his life in a snowboarding accident. As a result of hitting a tree, he had 27 broken bones, a collapsed lung, broken jaw, fractured arm, and a ruptured spleen. He posted last April on his Instagram, “I was pretty sure I was going to die.” He went on to say, “I will never take another day on this earth for granted.”
After several months of rehab and a lot of time since the accident on the slopes, Mark McMorris is the comeback story of the 2018 Winter Olympics. This last week he won another bronze in slopestyle snowboarding and before that, a bronze at this year’s X Games. His story is one of excellence, courage, and inhuman determination.
I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to meet Mark, but I’m still holding out that we’ll be together one day. Winter always my friends!