Mark McMorris has the chance to cap his second comeback season in just as many years with an Olympic medal as he and the rest of the Slopestyle and Big Air Team Canada snowboard team were named for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics this past week. McMorris is by no means the only contender for Team Canada, also bringing heavyweights Max Parrot, Spencer O’Brien, Seb Toots, Brooke Voigt, Laurie Blouin and Tyler Nicholson into the mix for PyeongChang, South Korea. Canada will definitely be a tough team to beat, especially with O’Brien and Parrot coming off big wins at the latest slopestlye competition at the 2017 Winter Dew Tour.
The U.S. Snowboard team looks to finalize their roster next week with an announcement on January 20-21 after the final Olympic Qualifier held at Mammoth Mountain. Check out more Olympic coverage heading into the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea here!
Full Press Release Below:
The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canada Snowboard officially announced the seven athletes and four coaches nominated to represent Team Canada in the slopestyle and big air snowboard events at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
The athletes were selected based on their performance in FIS World Cup, World Championship, and World Snowboard Tour events between July 1, 2016 and January 1, 2018. Due to their strong performances during the 2016-17 season, Mark McMorris and Max Parrot were eligible for early nomination to Team Canada for the Olympic Winter Games.
The snowboarders nominated are:
Laurie Blouin (Stoneham, QC)
Mark McMorris (Regina, SK)
Tyler Nicholson (North Bay, ON)
Spencer O’Brien (Courtenay, BC)
Max Parrot (Bromont, QC)
Sébastien Toutant (L’Assomption, QC)
Brooke Voigt (Fort McMurray, AB)
The coaches nominated are:
Elliot Catton (Collingwood, ON)
Chris Witwicki (Calgary, AB)
Sani Alibabic (Innsbruck, Austria)
Adam Burwell (Regina, SK)
On the men’s team, McMorris has won 14 medals at the Winter X Games since 2011, including one gold and two bronze last season. Parrot owns eight X Games medals of his own, highlighted by back-to-back big air gold medals in Aspen in 2016 and 2017. Toutant won his sixth career X Games medal last year when he claimed slopestyle bronze in Norway. Nicholson earned his first career X Games medal at the 2017 event in Aspen where he won slopestyle silver.
On the women’s side, O’Brien won slopestyle gold in Aspen in 2016 for her sixth career X Games medal. Blouin stunned everyone when she captured slopestyle gold at the 2017 FIS World Championships. Voigt has won FIS World Cup medals in both big air and slopestyle, earning her fifth career podium last February in Quebec City.
The athletes will continue to train, and some will compete events in Snowmass, Colorado, and Laax, Switzerland, in the next two weeks, their final events leading up to PyeongChang 2018.
Slopestyle and big air are two of the newest additions to the Olympic Winter Games program. Slopestyle was first contested at Sochi 2014, where McMorris won a bronze medal. PyeongChang is the first Olympic Games to include big air. The Canadian contingent is one of the best in the world, with the four spots on the men’s side being highly contested for. Canada has seven athletes ranked in the top 20 in slopestyle and five of the top 20 in big air.
Snowboard slopestyle will take place at the Phoenix Snow Park, February 10-12 (Days 1-3). Big air will take place on a specially constructed ramp at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Centre, February 19-24 (Days 10-15).
“The strength of our snowboard team reflects the incredible depth Canada has in this exciting sport. I’m looking forward to cheering these athletes on as they challenge for the podium in PyeongChang.”
- Isabelle Charest, PyeongChang 2018 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“I’m really happy to have been selected for the Olympic Games. Of course it’s a huge moment in my career. It’s my first Olympic Games so I have a lot of expectations. My goal is to get to the final, and if I get to the final, to win a medal, so I trained hard for that. I’m really happy to represent my country, Canada, in PyeongChang.”
- Laurie Blouin, PyeongChang 2018 nominated athlete