Mark McMorris doesn't believe in taking it easy—even when he's assured of winning the gold medal in the men's Snowboard Slopestyle at X Games Aspen 2013. The 19-year-old Canadian won his second straight X Games gold medal in the event.
With the top spot on the podium already wrapped up, McMorris could have turned in a routine with a very low difficulty. Instead, he did this:
The routine featured several cool tricks. Here is a breakdown of what we saw from McMorris' last run (per Devon O'Neil of XGames ESPN):
Cab 270 to fakie on the down rail
Switch lipslide on the up rail
Front blunt sameway 270
Boardslide gap boardslide to fakie
Cab 1260 double cork
Frontside 1080 double cork
Backside triple cork 1440
That's not the type of run you'd expect from a guy with the gold medal well in hand.
McMorris completely understands that this is the X Games, and that fans want to be entertained. This is not the format where competitors should be playing it safe.
Critics could have criticized the condition changes that seemingly aided McMorris in his previous scores, but he squelched that argument with his awesome finishing run. It was a pleasant surprise and the type of moment that produces stars.
Some may have expected Shaun White to give McMorris a stiff challenge, but the X Games legend of skateboarding and snowboarding was no match for the defending champion.
In fact, McMorris was just one of four competitors to finish ahead of White. Here are the final standings:
|2||Maxence Parrot||90.00 R|
|4||Chas Guldemond||80.00 R|
|6||Peetu Piiroinen||66.00 R|
|7||Aleksander Oestreng R||55.00|
|8||Gjermund Braaten||18.00 R|
With McMorris not yet 20 years old, he is in place to dominate for years to come. He certainly gained his share of fans by leaving it all on the slope. If there was a torch to be passed, McMorris took it and ran with it.
Hopefully he stays daring and exciting in his future runs.