"...just standing on the podium feels like a gold medal to me." (Mark McMorris)
When Olympic snowboarder Mark McMorris dreamt about competing in the Olympics he didn't think that he would be doing it with a broken rib. But after suffering an injury a few weeks ago in competition, that is exactly what happened. Thanks to acupuncture, massage therapy and rehab, however, he was cleared to compete.
Mark got off to a slow start and his first run on the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park course was disappointing. He had called the jumps at Sochi "obnoxiously tall". And the landings could not be easy on his broken rib. However, he nailed his second run.
Then it was time to wait -- and what an agonizing wait it was for the 10 other snowboarders. The final rider was fellow Canadian Merence Parrot, the reigning X-Games champion. Parrot appeared to nail his run and McMorris was prepared to exit the finish area. But it soon became apparent that Parrot's score was lower than McMorris'. The pockets of flag waving Canadians cheered as McMorris stood on the podium. Life was good for the 20 year old from Regina. Canada had its first medal of the Sochi Olympics.