ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Canada’s Mark McMorris will ride through the pain barrier when he competes in the snowboard slopestyle in Sochi after sustaining a broken rib at the X Games 10 days ago.
“It’s still broken, it’s going to be painful and I‘m going to have to ride through the pain but just to get a shot at trying to do what I want to do is an important thing,” McMorris told reporters after the second day of training at the Rosa Khutor Extreme course.
McMorris fractured his rib when he fell heavily after his snowboard caught a rail at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, but he has made a quick return and will compete when qualifying begins on Thursday.
“It feels so much better. I went riding off the course yesterday. It was more painful than I hoped, (but) I’ve been medically cleared and it’s not going to get any worse.”
The slopestyle course has come in for heavy criticism after Norway’s Torstein Horgmo broke his collarbone during the first day’s practice, and several other riders were also critical of the course.
But McMorris, who sat out the first day’s practice, had no fears about it after his first encounter on Tuesday.
”I didn’t ride the course yesterday at all, but people said things weren’t matching up and it was a little icy,“ he said. ”Today I had a great day. The course is definitely different from a usual course.
“I‘m doing the tricks I want to do so I have no complaints,” the 20-year-old told reporters.
“It’s not dangerous at all, it’s just a different course. Snowboarding is dangerous. Crossing the street is dangerous.”
McMorris said that thanks to his crash in the X Games he had bigger things to worry about.
“The course was the last of my worries ... to be jumping these big jumps on the 10th day (after breaking a rib) is quite spectacular. Every day gets much better.”
Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Peter Rutherford