International athletes to watch at this year’s Winter Games

International athletes to watch at this year’s Winter Games

Photo: Getty Images

The non-stated reason I combined the men’s snowboard halfpipe contenders is I didn’t want half of the list to be made up of snowboarders. I love snowboarding so much that it’s hard to temper my enthusiasm for the sport and not blather away about riders, tricks, powder stashes, gear, gondolas, safety meetings… wait I’m blathering again.

Mark McMorris, an OG snowboarder out of Canada, is looking for his first Olympic gold after he came up bronze at the past two Olympics. At 32, he’s done everything else he’s set out to, including surpassing White’s record for most career Winter X Games medals this year when he took first in men’s slopestyle for a record sixth time in Aspen.

While slopestyle — hitting a run of features from rails to massive jumps — doesn’t attract the draw or carry the weight that halfpipe does, it’s my favorite snowboarding discipline because of the aesthetic diversity of tricks. (My favorite comp is anything in the backcountry where riders hit natural jumps and create their own lines, but that’s not an Olympic event, and I’m blathering again so I’ll stop.)

Watch out for McMorris, who, like most Canadians, is a nice guy and deserves a career chef’s kiss.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.