Mark McMorris Interview: Making His Mark -- Part 1

Mark discusses training, nerves, coming back from an injury, and how he stays positive.

Mark McMorris performs at the Red Bull Snow-Sports Performance Camp in Aspen, CO, USA on 12 April, 2013.
© Zach Hooper/Red Bull Content Pool

Canadian superhero Mark McMorris isn't a grom anymore. He may have blown up onto the scene as one, but this 19 year-old is making his mark on his own terms, with his family and friends by his side.

The two-time reigning X Games slopestyle champ, and first person to land a backside triple cork 1440 in competition, will undoubtedly continue his quest to be one of the world's best snowboarders.

This season is sure to be a heavy one, with the biggest contest of Mark's career, but he seems more focused and excited as ever to do what he loves the most.

Mark McMorris
Mark McMorris Portrait© Tim Zimmerman/Red Bull Content Pool

What have you been doing to prepare for all the contests you'll be winning?

Winning did you say? First of all, thank you. I've just been trying to get my body in shape to withstand what the season's going to look like next year, which is pretty wild. That's been going really good.

I wanted to take some time off my snowboard after a hectic last year, so after the end of May, I waited until mid-August and went to Australia. It felt really good when I got back on my board; I'm stronger than ever.

I've also been doing yoga and trying to stay really mobile, but trying to gain strength. It was going well until I knuckled a jump really bad and bruised both of my heels. I've been dealing with that for the last month and a half, and I started walking well a few weeks ago. Now, I'm back to pretty much full training. I'm getting ready to return to snow around November 15.

What is your mindset heading into this season?

I don't want to flood myself with contests this year, but stay on the same track I've been on because it's been working. I'll do what I usually do, but stay super focused on my main goal, which is obviously the Olympics. I'm really lucky that I already qualified for Canada, so I don't have to pack in five or six contests before Sochi. I feel like that would burn me out. 

What types of off-season training have been doing?

Tons of stuff in the gym. I work with a trainer and a physio who travels with me most of the year. I've been spending a lot of time with him, trying to get stronger in my legs and gain more hip mobility -- moving and powering through my legs, the right way, through my glutes by doing really specific exercises. It's been nice because I've really been noticing results.

Are you nervous about the added attention and pressure this year?

Yeah, my nerves are good though. I've had a lot of pressure in my career, especially last year, and it pushed me in a positive way. Sometimes pressure can go in a bad way, but for me, it's always gone positively where I've just always wanted to do better. 

What do you think of the venue? I know they had to cancel the slopestyle contest there last season, because of warm weather. Do you think it's going to be up to par?

I haven't been [to Sochi], but they could have easily pulled it together last year. There was so much snow up high. The resort usually gets a lot of snow and I assume it will this year, they just need to drag it down. The main reason we didn't go was because there weren't enough accommodations, but all the media just wants to hate on Russia so…

Is that what you think it is?

Yeah, it's the Olympics. They're going to make it happen and it's going to be totally fine. I'm shutting my brain off to all of that and just making sure that I worry about my snowboarding and nothing else. Everyone is going to be riding the same course. It just comes down to competing. It's all going to work out.

Do you know the setup going into it?

Yeah, they released the course design. It's three rail setups and there are many options in each one. Everybody will have somewhat of a different line, which is nice. And then three jumps. How they're going to be built, we don't know. We'll see. It should be a pretty standard slopestyle course, allowing for the best tricks. It's gonna be wild. I'm excited.

Stay Tuned for Part 2