Max Parrot, a 27-year-old Canadian snowboarder, has clinched the top prize during the men’s slopestyle event at the Beijing Games.
He scored an impressive 90.96, beating out China’s 17-year-old Su Yiming taking silver and Canadian Mark McMorris securing the bronze. When he heard his final score, he tossed his snowboard in delight.
His first-place Olympics win was all thanks to his hard work and dedication, but what makes his victory even more special is that it came three years after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.
During Parrot’s battle with cancer, he completed 12 rounds of chemotherapy over a period of six months, before he was finally declared cancer-free in July of 2019.
“So much went by in those last four years,” Parrot told BBC Sport. “The last time I was at the Olympics, in PyeongChang, I got a silver medal, and then I had to go through cancer. It was a nightmare – it’s so hard to describe what I’ve been through.”
He was eager to get back to snowboarding, and earned Winter X Games gold medals in big air and slopestyle in 2019 and 2020. While he was excited about those wins, being able to compete in the Olympics again is a dream come true.
“You have no cardio, you have no energy, you have no muscles,” he explained. “To be back out here, at the Olympics, on a podium again but with a gold medal, it feels amazing.”
Parrot will also compete in the big air on February 14 and 15.
Hear more of his inspirational story in the video below:
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