One has beaten cancer, the other has broken a dozen bones: two Canadian snowboarders win gold and bronze in slopestyle competition.
In December 2018, Max Parrot’s great passion suddenly became completely insignificant. At the age of 24 he received the shock diagnosis: lymph gland cancer. Twelve chemotherapies and a good three years later, the Canadian snowboarder jumped to Olympic gold in slopestyle in Beijing. Next to him on the podium: compatriot Mark McMorris, who died after a fall in 2017.
“Exactly three years ago I was in a hospital, had no energy, no muscles,” said Parrot, visibly moved: “Now pursuing my passion at the Olympics, having the best run of my life and winning gold – that’s crazy.”
It was “never up for debate” that “cancer could defeat me. But of course I was very afraid,” Parrot explained, looking back on six months of chemo hell: “I fought so hard every day to defeat it. “
Mentally, Parrot feels “a lot stronger” from this experience. Just two months after the last therapy, he drove to Big Air Gold at the 2019 X Games.
“I thought I was going to die”
A superb second run on Monday at Genting Snow Park ensured Parrot should have no trouble “smiling all day” going forward, as he had hoped to do on his comeback.
In the finish area in Zhangjiakou, Parrot beamed arm in arm with his third-placed teammate McMorris. The 28-year-old also has a moving story behind him. About a year before the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, a serious training crash not only called his career into question. He suffered more than a dozen broken bones, and his left lung collapsed. “I thought I was going to die,” McMorris said at the time.
In February 2018 he achieved a sporting miracle with his second Olympic bronze medal, and now he has done it again.