There are uplifting stories, there are stories that are perfect for Hollywood movies, and then there’s Max Parrot’s story.
The Quebecer won Canada’s first gold medal of the 2022 Winter Olympics, but the slopestyle medal he won — he won silver in the 2018 games in PyeongChang, South Korea — almost defies logic. Between his silver medal four years ago and the gold he won in China, Parrot was afflicted with, and overcame, a grave cancer diagnosis, Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Diagnosed just a few months after his silver medal in Korea, Parrot underwent 12 rounds of chemotherapy and was declared cancer-free in July, 2019. The return to championship form as a snowboarder was possible, but probably unlikely.
Now he’s a gold medal winner!
“It just shows how anything is possible,” Parrot told the CBC after his win. “Three years ago, I was laying in a hospital bed with no energy, no muscles, no cardio. And today, I’m an Olympic gold medallist and I did the biggest run of my life.”
Now, about that Hollywood movie . . . how about a documentary? A story in People magazine on the Canadian snowboarder said he recently released a documentary film titled MAX — Life as a Gold Medal, which tells his amazing story.
The documentary was completed before his inspiring victory in China, so now he’s got gold medals everywhere — a metaphorical one in the title of his film, and a real one in his trophy case.
Meanwhile, 28-year-old snowboarder Mark McMorris of Regina continues to shine on the world stage, and astound onlookers who can’t understand how a kid from the flatlands of Saskatchewan can emerge as one of the world’s best at flying through the air on a snowboard, a specialty normally reserved for residents of mountainous regions. But he captured a bronze medal in the same event Parrot won, giving him three bronzes in as many iterations of the Games, and hoped to win more silverware when the ‘big air’ events were held later in the Games. (Post-event, McMorris said he felt his run was superior to Parrot’s but then did the Canadian thing by apologizing to his team-mate for his comments.)
• RJ Currie of sportsdeke.com: “Ex-Miami Heat forward Shane Battier said his actual surname was Battle, but it was spelled incorrectly on his birth certificate. And don’t get me started on Isles winger Cal Clutterbuck.”
• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: “The NFL team formerly known as the Redskins are now the Washington Commanders, explaining, ‘All of the good nicknames were already taken’.”
• Jack Finarelli of sportscurmudgeon.com, on the new Commanders nickname: “It was nice touch for the team to name itself after President Biden’s dog.”
• Raiders punter A.J. Cole, on the Pro Bowl, reprinted from Dan Gartland’s SI:AM: “Probably my favourite stat line I’ve ever had: Got zero punts, three holds, two halftime hotdogs.”
• Blogger Patti Dawn Swansson, on the huge competitive gap in women’s hockey between the top two teams, Canada and the U.S., and the rest of the world: “Nothing has really changed with the Swedes, the Swiss, the Russkies, the Finns et al in the past dozen years. Livestock walking into a slaughterhouse have a better survival rate.”
• Bob Molinaro of pilotonline.com (Hampton, Va.): “Cross country skiing isn’t a sport; it’s how Scandinavians go shopping.”
• Another one from Jack Finarelli, at sportscurmudgeon.com: “In nine Super Bowls, there has been a starting quarterback named ‘Joe’ — Namath, Kapp, Montana (four times), Theismann, Flacco and now Burrow. In 10 Super Bowl games, there has been a starting QB named “Tom” … Brady.”
• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg: “The medal ceremony for the team figure skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics was delayed because a Russian skater tested positive for a banned drug. It wasn’t 15-year-old Russian Kamila Valieva. She would only test positive for Flintstone Vitamins.”
• Kaseberg again: “Aaron Rodgers won the NFL’s MVP. One thing for sure, MVP does not stand for Most Vaccinated Person.”
• Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “ SiriusXM fired PGA Tour Radio analyst Mark Lye after he said on-air ‘I’ll shoot myself’ rather than watch a WNBA game. Now they call him Unplayable Lye.”
• Bills WR Stefon Diggs, via Twitter, on facing his younger brother — Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs — in the Pro Bowl: “I break the huddle and look across from me I see one of the best players in the world and guess who changed his diapers.”
• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, on iconic boxer Floyd Mayweather owning a NASCAR team: “Brace yourself, Floyd, because you are about to go from ‘Money’ Mayweather to ‘Spend Money’ Mayweather.”
• Another one from RJ Currie of sportsdeke.com, on the NCAA approving unlimited snacks for athletes: “Or as they call it in the CFL, playoff bonuses.”
Care to comment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Bruce Penton