GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Mark McMorris was just starting to settle into his mini-break between Olympic events when we lined up a sitdown with him early Tuesday morning in the athletes lounge at Canada House. He was hardly relaxing, though.
The slopestyle bronze medallist didn’t have his board with him, but he most definitely was working. In the hour leading up to our 1-on-1, McMorris did six interviews, all of which were at least 10 minutes each, and every one was on-cam. In other words, this was no cruiser run, as snowboarders like to say.
Now, no one is feeling sorry for a snowboarding legend who has his own show, a pair of Olympic medals and more than a dozen pieces of X Games hardware. Don’t forget the epic return, 11 months later, from a near-fatal crash, too.
Still, McMorris’s early-morning media blitz left us unsure whether we were going to be talking to the superstar media darling, or an exhausted Olympian simply looking for a good night’s sleep or two before refocusing on his next event.
Sure enough, we got the former, and to quote McMorris: “It was dope.”
During our 10 minutes with the seven-time X Games gold medallist, McMorris impressively worked the room full of producers, reps and publicists, engaging every person as he flipped and slid his way from one topic to another. It was a refreshing moment from an athlete who had been pulled every which way for the past hour and now had two cameras up in his grill.
Fittingly, McMorris’s chilled-out demeanour was especially cool while talking up the snowboard brotherhood. In the clip above, McMorris explains how snowboarders are friends first, rivals second.
“Snowboarding is much bigger than competing, right?” McMorris said. “And snowboarding was built for you to be on the mountains with your buddies, riding around, exploring, and doing cool things, and pushing each other’s limits, right?
“When we’re at the cafeteria or something, every other sport is sitting with their nation only. And then snowboarders are eating with the Aussies, the New Zealanders, the Norwegians, the Czechs — like it’s just everybody is cool with everybody. And it’s funny to see the other sports are like what — what’s going on? Like, you know, are they dating or? No, we’re just like all friends. So it’s a way better vibe than a lot of the sports here, I think.”
Ain’t that the truth.
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