One of the very best Canadian sports stories in 2017 involves Canadian Olympic bronze medal winning snowboarder Mark McMorris of Regina, Saskatchewan. In April, McMorris broke his jaw, arm, ribs, lung, pelvis and spleen when he had an accident snowboarding in Whistler, British Columbia. There were reports of thankful McMorris was just to be alive.
On Saturday, McMorris returned to the World Cup snowboarding scene and struck gold in a big air competition in Beijing, China. His ability to rebound after the life threatening accident to place first was an amazing example of resiliency.
McMorris posted a score of 187 points. Tiarn Collins of New Zealand won the silver medal, his first career World Cup medal, with 183.75 points. Torgeir Bergrem of Norway won the bronze medal with 179.75 points. McMorris reached the podium by 42 points over Hiroaki Kunitake of Japan.
McMorris is now tied with Chris Corning in the World Cup standings in men’s big air snowboarding. They each have 1000 points. Corning won a men’s big air World Cup earlier this month in Milan, Italy. It was part of an American sweep as Redmond Gerard won silver and Kyle Mack won bronze.
McMorris will be an Olympic medal contender in the big air and slopestyle snowboarding competitions at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. He won a bronze medal in men’s slopestyle snowboarding at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Big air snowboarding will be making its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang.