Mark McMorris wins gold, Max Parrot takes silver in big air at Oslo X Games

McMorris wins gold, Parrot silver at X Games

With all the success Canada’s Max Parrot has had in both slopestyle and big air snowboarding events this season, you can forgive him for not being able to pick a favourite between the two disciplines.

“That’s like asking to choose between your two children,” Parrot said with a laugh in a phone interview with The Canadian Press from Oslo, Norway on Saturday.

“Both are a big part of snowboarding, both are challenging. And I’ve had a lot of good results in both.”

Parrot, who’s won 10 medals in 15 events this season, capped his year with another appearance on the podium — winning silver in big air at the Oslo X Games.

The Bromont, Que., native finished with 84 points, one point back of teammate Mark McMorris of Regina. Torgeir Bergrem of Norway rounded out the podium with 79 points.

Parrot has won big air gold in three of the past five X Games (with silver medals in the other two).

He brought the sport to new heights at the last X Games in Aspen this January, where he landed the first ever quad underflip in competition. With the Oslo jump measuring slightly smaller than the one in Colorado, he wasn’t able to try the daring move during his Saturday jump.

“I was a little bummed about that but I did a really good performance tonight and I’m happy,” said Parrot.

After struggling all week in practice with his cab triple cork 1800 — the trick that earned him gold at the 2016 Aspen X Games, when he became the first snowboarder to land it in a competition — the 22-year-old landed it smoothly in Saturday’s final. 

McMorris’s winning run didn’t have an 1800, but it did include two triple cork 1620s. 

“I thought what I did tonight was enough to get the gold medal but maybe the judges didn’t like them, I don’t know,” Parrot said. “I’m really happy about bringing another medal back home.

“It all comes down to the judges at the end and it was really, really close, just one point. I’m definitely happy Mark was able to win the gold. This season’s been pretty funny because usually it’s me and him on the podium. We’ve been challenging each other all season for first place.”

McMorris, who won bronze in slopestyle in the sport’s Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games, has 14 total X Games medals between the two disciplines, including five in big air. 

Saturday’s win followed a disappointing slopestyle final on Friday night for both McMorris and Parrot, who finished sixth and eighth respectively. Sebastien Toutant of l’Assomption, Que., won bronze.

Parrot, who placed fifth in slopestyle in Sochi, has his sights set on qualifying for next year’s Pyeongchang Games, where big air will make its Olympic debut.

The Oslo X Games marked the last pre-qualifying event for Canada’s Olympic team.

“I don’t know what the results are right now, I’m still waiting on that but I have a really good chance to pre-qualify,” said Parrot. “We should know that in the next couple weeks but I’m definitely looking forward to Pyeongchang.

“I wanted to prove myself this year. I had really good results last year too but my goal is always to be better and better and I did that this year.”

Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press

Canadian Press