Will NHL sensation Mitch Marner lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a second-consecutive playoff push? Will veteran speed skater Charles Hamelin win gold ahead of his planned retirement? And, can Big Air snowboard specialist Sébastien Toutant defend his world title?
Among the World Cup champions, X Games medallists, and new up-and-comers, here’s a few Canadian athletes to keep your eye on this winter.
MARK MCMORRIS -- SNOWBOARDING (SLOPESTYLE / BIG AIR)
Mark McMorris is one of the most decorated and successful athletes in competitive snowboard history. The 27-year-old Regina-native has collected four US Open Championship wins, as well as a record-setting twenty X Games medals.
Leading the way in a wildly progressive sport, McMorris made history in 2011 when he became the first person to land a backside triple cork 1440.
But despite these historic successes, his career hasn’t been easy. McMorris suffered a broken rib just two weeks ahead of Sochi 2014; a broken femur in 2016; as well as an accident that left him in a coma with multiple life-threatening injuries in 2017. But in all cases, McMorris has been able to rebound from serious injury and maintain his dominance in the field — proving his raw, natural talent and drive.
Now healthy and stronger than ever, McMorris is ready to cement his legacy in 2022.
Watch Mark McMorris and an all-star cast of Slopestyle and Big Air specialists session Beckinsale's finely-tuned park in the player below:
CHARLES HAMELIN -- SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING
Veteran speed skater Charles Hamelin is hoping to triumph on the world stage for a fifth time to cap off his successful nineteen year career.
The 37-year-old has collected 142 World Cup medals (58 gold, 42 silver, 42 bronze) since 2003. He’s also a two-time world champion over the 500 and 1000 metre distances, and a three-time, reigning world champion over the 1500 distance in 2021.
This recent triumph over the 1500 distance follows his decision to postpone his retirement after an uncharacteristic performance in PyeongChang — where he failed to finish in the top five in any of his individual races for the first time.
Returning stronger, and faster than ever, Hamelin is set to return to the short track for one final showing before hanging up his skates for good.
SEBASTIEN TOUTANT -- SNOWBOARDING (SLOPESTYLE / BIG AIR)
Sebastien Toutant shocked the international snowboard scene when he won his first professional event at just 13 years old. Now, over a decade later, the French Canadian shredder is known to be one of the most well-versed veterans in the sport.
Since turning pro, Toutant has collected seven X Games medals, multiple World Cup wins, and is the reigning Gold Medallist for Snowboarding Big Air on the sports greatest stage.
When he isn’t jumping from podium to podium, the 27-year-old is producing groundbreaking street segments with major production companies, hitting hole-in-one shots on the golf course, and consistently dropping viral ‘The Floor Is Lava’ compilations online.
Check out Dual Focus for an intimate behind-the-scenes look into Toutant’s off-season training regiments, side passions, and sources of inspiration.
NOAH BOWMAN -- SKIING (HALFPIPE)
In an adrenaline-fuelled showdown, freeskier Noah Bowman is set to bring his effortless style and switch technical trickery to the icy walls of China’s Secret Garden.
The Calgary-native carved his name into the international halfpipe scene after winning his first World Championship in 2010, and earning a silver medal in his debut X Games appearance in 2012 — where he stomped the first ever switch Alley-oop Double 900 in competition. Since then, Bowman won bronze at Winter X Games 2017, and logged fifth place at both winter games.
Noah finished the 2019-2020 season with three consecutive World Cup podiums — including a win in China. This season, he’s hoping to continue this hot streak on the world’s biggest stage.