Road to Sochi: Team Oakley Athlete of the Week – Mark McMorris
As many regions brace for the coming of winter, a handful of the world’s elite athletes prepare to compete on sports’ most prestigious global stage. The 2014 Winter Olympics are upon us and the remote region of Sochi, Russia is set to host the twenty-second edition of the biggest winter sporting event in the world. As the days until the Open Ceremony count down, we invite you to get to know some of the most passionate, fearless, determined and awe inspiring athletes, some of whom you will undoubtedly see on the podium come February. Each of these athletes strive to compete in Sochi as representatives of their home nations, but are bound together, despite national boundaries, as members of another exclusive team: Team Oakley.
This week’s Team Oakley Athlete of the week is Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris. The 19-year-old from Regina is the reigning king of slopestyle and is one of the most dynamic and dominant aerialists the sport has seen in some time, with eight X Games medals already to his name. He’ll be a clear Gold Medal favorite in the newly added Slopestyle discipline heading into Sochi.
We caught up with Mark to get his thoughts on all things Olympics.
What would it mean to you to be an Olympian, representing your country this winter in Sochi?
It would be such an honor representing Canada in Sochi. Growing up in Canada where winter sports are what people live for, it’d be a dream come true!
At what point did you set your sights on becoming an Olympian? When did you realize that goal was realistic?
In 2011, when I had just come off one of my best seasons of my life and slopestyle was added to the Olympics.
What is your favorite Olympic moment (personal or historic)?
I’d have to say watching the Gold Medal hockey game in Vancouver when Canada won.
What was your reaction when you learned that Slopestyle was being added to the Olympics?
I was out for dinner with a bunch of friends and it popped up on TV and I almost didn’t believe it was real! I was so excited that I was going to have a really good chance at representing Canada in Sochi.
You’ve won pretty much everything there is to win in snowboarding, but what would it mean to you to add an Olympic Gold Medal to your trophy case?
It’s just on such a different level then another action sports event on Earth. It would mean the world to me. I mean, even my grandmas know what the Olympics are! Haha!
For more on Mark McMorris, visit his Oakley bio.