O'Brien, Parrot soar to double gold in snowboard slopestyle at Dew Tour
O'Brien scores 95, Parrot 97 in victories
Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot waited at the bottom of the Dew Tour slopestyle course on Saturday as seven other riders took their turns down the track.
One by one, they failed to best his 97 points, and Parrot could finally celebrate a long-awaited accomplishment.
The 23-year-old from Bromont, Que., won the men's slopestyle event in Breckenride, Colo., for the first time in seven Dew Tour starts since 2011.
"I've had two podiums before today — a third place and a second place — but I finally won it," Parrot said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. "It means a lot to me and I'm very happy.
"To be honest I didn't think [97 points] was enough. I had good chances with that score but I knew four or five people could bump me. So it was definitely stressful. I stood up there and I watched them and it stood up until the end so I'm very happy."
Canada's Spencer O'Brien won the women's snowboard slopestyle event earlier in the day.
O'Brien, from Courtenay, B.C., layed down a 95-point second run that lifted her into first place in the eight-woman final. American Jamie Anderson was second with 93.33 points and Finland's Enni Rukajarvi was third with 92.
The best score of three runs counts as a rider's final score.
The 29-year-old O'Brien, who finished 12th when slopestyle made its Olympic debut at the 2014 Sochi Games, started her day with a 35-point first run. O'Brien wrapped up with a 30.66-point third run but had to wait for Anderson's final run — a 31 — before locking up first place.
Parrot started his day with 48.33 points before rebounding with the 97 in his second. Parrot said he had plans to wow judges even more in the third run with two triple-corks — something no other competitor did — but he had difficulty landing the first.
"I was pretty close," Parrot said with a laugh. "That would have been maybe 100 (points), I don't know."
Chris Corning of the United States took silver with 95 points and Norway's Mons Roisland was third.
Two-time Dew Tour champion Mark McMorris of Regina scored 82.33 points for an eighth-place finish in the 12-man final.
McMorris, a multiple X Games champion and defending Olympic bronze medallist in slopestlye, suffered a fractured jaw, fractured left arm, ruptured spleen, stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung in an off-trail crash near Whistler, B.C., last March.
"He had such horrific injuries, it's crazy how fast he gets back," Parrot said of McMorris. "He already has two wins this season so he has a good start. I think he's on fire but today wasn't his day."
Other Canadians Darcy Sharpe and Tyler Nicholson were sixth and 10th, respectively. On the women's side, Laurie Blouin took falls in all three of her runs to finish eighth with a top score of 28.
Parrot finished fifth in slopestyle at the Sochi Olympics. He said his goal for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games isn't necessarily to win gold.
"My focus will be on landing my runs, that's all I want," Parrot said. "I'm going to for sure have a run in mind that will put me on the podium and if I land it, I'll be on top."
McEachran, Howell just miss podium
Evan McEachran of Oakville, Ont., finished just off the podium in fourth place in the men's ski slopestyle event while Olympic champion Dara Howell of Hunstville, Ont., was sixth in the women's ski slopestyle.