Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris will miss X Games Aspen after testing positive for COVID-19.
McMorris's agent confirmed on Monday that the Olympic medallist from Regina will not be participating at the annual event slated to open Friday at Buttermilk Mountain following a positive coronavirus test.
McMorris is the most decorated athlete in Winter X Games history, winning 20 medals in his career including nine gold.
ESPN — creator, producer and broadcaster of X Games — said on its website that McMorris tested positive for COVID-19 Friday after returning to his residence in California from Laax, Switzerland. A second test the same day also came back positive.
The 27-year-old McMorris along with Canada's slopestyle snowboard team were expected to participate in last week's World Cup season opener in Laax before two members of its delegation tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 19.
The International Ski Federation announced that the positive tests came at the slopestyle and halfpipe event,, forcing the boarders out of competition and into isolation. McMorris reportedly tested negative while in Switzerland.
McMorris told X Games organizers on Monday that he is withdrawing from the event, according to his agent Russell Reimer of Manifesto Sport Management. He is currently self-isolating at his home in California and is experiencing no symptoms.
The 2021 version of X Games Aspen will have no spectators in an effort to make it a safe, socially distanced event.
"I'm definitely going to miss competing at my favourite event," McMorris said in a statement to ESPN. "I'm sending good vibes to all the riders and to the organizers who worked so hard to create a safe environment for everyone to compete under such difficult circumstances."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 25, 2021.
The Canadian Press