January 26, 2013
The composure with which he handled the pressure of this weekend’s events is the stuff that stars are made of and will certainly see him to continued success as his career moves forward and he undoubtedly matures. On the final run of the Slopestyle contest, Mark decided to do what he came to Aspen for and put down the highest scoring run in the history of the sport, which was unlike other record setting runs at the event in that it was decidedly void of controversy.
The tricks that he put down are the ones that will see this sport progress both now and through the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. Ask anyone who knows anything (most of whom know a lot more than myself) and they will all tell you that his jump line was not the only thing that sets him apart from the rest of the pack. Mark himself said it Friday night “Everyone’s got these tricks” which means it comes down to the details. In the case of snowboard Slopestyle that means the rail game.
In many people’s eyes this contest was over by the time Mark made his way out of the Red Bull Plaza section because as long as he held it together over the jumps, he would likely put things out of reach, even for the most accomplished of aerialists.
Mark winning gold came as little surprise to a lot of people, and to those that were slightly caught off guard it didn’t exactly come out of left field. What I was most impressed with however, came of Friday night as Mark finished runner-up to Shredbot teammate and booter-superstar Torstein Horgmo. While Mark made history landing the first Triple Rodeo ever at X Games and scoring an equal 94.00 to Horgmo, he was unable to top him.
The real magic in my eyes happened when the event was over. Rather than concern himself with the fact that he fell .01 short of another double gold, Mark instead embraced his friend and celebrated the fact that the sport took another monumental leap forward. In a fashion that reflects the true spirit of the snowboarding Mark was substantially more focused on what was happening around him, to his friends, than he ever was with personal accomplishments. While it is certain that he would have preferred to stand on top of the podium, it’s clear to see that “The Kid” believes that there are far worse tragedies in life.
Rather than build his own hits to keep things a secret, or fly from contest to contest on his own in order to separate himself from his competitors, Mark really goes to show that there is no room for selfishness in this sport and THAT is the most impressive of his accomplishments.
I believe it is what will take him the furthest in this sport and it will also serve him well in the minds of his sponsors and fans. What the world of action sports needs is someone they can embrace not an anti-hero who is hell-bent on becoming a rock star.
Congratulations again to the Boy-King from the prairies who continues to impact this sport, and this industry on a daily basis. We have not seen the last from Mark McMorris, and I believe I speak for all of us when I say that is definitely a good thing.
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