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Gold for Mark McMorris at X Games

Five Canadians leave Aspen with medals at professional event



Canadian competitors at the X Games in Aspen are coming home with hardware and Mark McMorris of Regina is one after beating the best snowboarder in the world.

McMorris took first place, beating out five-time gold medal winner and snowboard king Shaun White. The score awarded to McMorris in his third run of the competition was 98.00, the highest score ever awarded at an X Games slopestyle event.

McMorris was up against tough competition in a run that included backside triple cork 1440s performed by three competitors, a first for the slopestyle discipline.

"I proved myself the way I wanted to and I'm just a happy camper,” McMorris, 19, said after the event. “I landed a run I don't think I've ever done, really."

The second place finisher in the slopestyle was 18-year-old Max Parrot, a new competitor at the X Games picked up his silver with a triple cork, a trick he learned just two weeks ago. Belgium's Seppe Smits claimed bronze.

White was the fifth place finisher.

"I'm going to let this soak in and hopefully turn it into a motivator," said White.

McMorris and White are expected to face off for the 2014 Olympic gold medal when slopestyle debuts in Russia.

The gold medal win for McMorris on Saturday followed a silver medal victory the day before at the X Games big air competition. Torstein Horgmo of Norway was the gold medal winner and his teammate Ståle Sandbech was the third place big air finisher.

Vancouver Islander Spencer O'Brien, 24, boarded her way to a bronze medal at the event in Aspen. She finished behind Jamie Anderson and Sarka Pancochova in the women’s snowboard slopestyle. Anderson, an American athlete, now has five X Games slopestyle gold medals to her name. Pancochova is Czech and her victory was her first at the professional level.

On Friday, Roz Groenwould of Squamish placed second in women’s ski superpipe and she was followed by Canadian Megan Gunning in third place. Maddie Bowman of the USA was the gold medal winner.

Louis-Felix Paradis won gold in the Snowboard Street Final on Friday.