Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's McMorris Feeling Better after Completing Slopestyle Training Run

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's McMorris Feeling Better after Completing Slopestyle Training Run

Article excerpt

McMorris feeling better after training run

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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - Mark McMorris's first appearance at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park earlier this week was marred by pain and frustration.

A broken rib from a recent crash at the X Games had made things quite uncomfortable for the Canadian snowboard star. But a solid training run Tuesday changed his mindset and left him optimistic ahead of this week's slopestyle event at the Sochi Olympics.

"Battling through the pain yesterday was kind of frustrating and then I came up here today and it was just better -- way better," McMorris said. "I was able to jump and start doing tricks again. My confidence level is back up and I feel like I'm in a good place for breaking my rib 10 days ago."

McMorris had been tabbed as a gold-medal favourite in the leadup to the Games after a strong run on the slopestyle circuit over the last few years. His crash at the X Games left things up in the air and created several big questions.

Would two weeks be enough time to recover? Could he return and be the same Mark McMorris?

If his big smile for the large scrum of reporters was any indication, McMorris should be just fine.

"Two days out before a non-elimination round, I couldn't be in a happier place," he said. "It's still broken, it's going to be painful and I know I'm going to have to ride through pain.

"But just to get a shot at trying to do what I want to do is the important part."

The 20-year-old Regina native skipped Monday's practice session and instead went for a casual ride around the mountain. McMorris has been medically cleared to compete but even a light run left him in more pain than expected.

He was thrilled that he noticed a marked improvement just 24 hours later.

McMorris credits his strong lower back muscles for helping to provide stability in the area. He notes the pain is the same whether he's landing a big jump or putting on his socks.

Canadian teammate Sebastien Toutant has dealt with similar injuries in the past and is confident McMorris will fight through the pain. …

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