Sports

Norway, Canada show off in slopestyle

Norway, Canada show off in slopestyle

And with the pressure off for their second runs, both nailed huge scores - McMorris with an 86.83 and Parrot just eclipsing him at 87.31 - to set a standard before the medal runs.

The Regina snowboarder has finished third in men's slopestyle in each of his two appearances at the Winter Olympics - visiting the podium most recently on a Sunday morning in PyeongChang, South Korea. Parrot, who led through qualifying, bobbled on the last jump of his first and second runs but pulled off a clean run on his last chance to win silver.

Canada is on the board when it comes to medals at the Pyongchang Olympics. Blouin burst on the scene winning slopestyle gold at the 2017 world championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain. "But that's where I told myself that I've been snowboarding since I was nine years old and that it was already a victory that I was here at the Olympic Games". The bronze medallist in slopestyle at Sochi - where he rode on a recently broken rib - crashed into a tree in the Whistler backcountry previous year, shattering several bones and requiring multiple surgeries to correct life-threatening injuries.

McMorris broke his jaw and left arm, ruptured his spleen, suffered a pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed lung as a result of the crash. He spent 10 days in hospital and was on a liquid diet for six weeks. "I probably shouldn't even be here", said the seven-time X-Games champion.

The Canadians were fully aware of all the medal possibilities in slopestyle, saying as far back as Monday, right after they got their first look at the Phoenix Snow Park course, that all four of them had medal potential on it.

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Most of the slopestyle competitors will also compete in the big air event in Pyeongchang, a new addition to the Olympic program for 2018.

Parrot and McMorris will renew acquaintances in the big air event on February 20, so fans will have to wait a bit for another frenemy face-off.

The Dutch-born, Calgary-based skater said he didn't know if he had beaten Pedersen when he crossed the finish line.

In the men's 5000m speed skating, the Netherland's Sven Kramer won gold ahead of Canada's Ted-Jan Bloemen and Norway's Sverre Lunde Pedersen in bronze.


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