Mark McMorris seems almost unstoppable. He's one of the best X Games athletes of all time | By Yvonne Hew
Updated: Max Parrot walked away from America's Navy Big Air with the gold, Marcus Kleveland claimed silver and Mark McMorris took the bronze.
In his two pet disciplines — slopestyle and big air — McMorris won 11 medals in his first 12 X Games starts, between 2011 and 2016. Six of those medals were gold, and five were silver. Considering all his X Games finishes, his average is an impressive 1.66 (where an average of 1.00 would be finishing first every time, 2.00 would be finishing second every time, etc.).
Only one athlete in X Games history has a better average in his first 12 starts. That’s BMX legend Dave Mirra, who had an crazy average of 1.25 between 1995 and 2000 (nine golds, three silvers).
McMorris isn’t just remarkably good — he’s remarkably consistent. If we look at the finals for the X Games slopestyle event, where an athlete’s top ride of three attempts is the score that counts, McMorris’s average score is a staggering 94.19 (The best possible score is 100.) Most X Games competitors scored 90 or above — in 2015 slopestyle, only three riders did in the finals; in 2016, only two did.
At the 2016 Aspen X Games, McMorris won the slopestyle event by being the first rider ever to perform back-to-back triple corks. In his winning run, McMorris did a triple cork with 1,440 degrees of rotation spinning counter-clockwise, followed immediately by another triple cork 1440 spinning clockwise. It’s hard enough to do one, let alone two in succession.
These X Games will mean a lot more to McMorris after snapping his demure in February 2016. For a lot of athletes, this would've been enough to end a career.
But after seven months of rehab and a positive atttidude, McMorris is feeling stronger than ever. His results since recovering have been impressive. A bronze at a big air competition in Milan, a gold for big air in Pyeongchang, a win in slopestyle at Dew Tour Breckenridge.
Maybe Mark McMorris really is unstoppable. We'll soon find out.