Max Parrot the latest snowboard star to take competition break

Max Parrot
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Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot, who came back from 12 rounds of chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma to win slopestyle gold and big air bronze at February’s Olympics, will not compete this season but will keep training.

“After ten years of sacrifice and continuous efforts to win, I’m allowing myself to take a break to recharge my batteries during this first year of the Olympic cycle,” Parrot, 28, said in a press release.

Parrot, after earning his first Olympic medal in 2018 (slopestyle silver), was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma on Dec. 21 of that year. Thirteen months later, he came back to win the X Games Aspen big air title.

In the Beijing slopestyle final, Parrot won with a 90.96-point second run of three. He called it the best run of his career with a triple cork 1620, a triple cork 1440 and a triple cork 1620.

“Three years ago, I was laying down on a hospital bed going through cancer,” he said after taking gold. “It was never an option for cancer to beat me, but for sure I was scared a lot of time.

“I just try to smile all day long now, and the results comes with that as well.”

In May, Parrot and his fiancée, Kayla, welcomed their first child.

“With the arrival of my son, the desire to be present for my family is stronger than going to perform in competitions,” said Parrot, the most decorated Canadian Olympic snowboarder with a medal of every color.

Previously, two-time Olympic halfpipe champion Chloe Kim and 2018 Olympic big air gold medalist Sébastien Toutant announced they are taking the post-Olympic season off.

The snowboard season includes X Games Aspen in late January and the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in February and March.

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Birk Irving, last man on Olympic team, extends breakout season with Mammoth win

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One year ago, Birk Irving was the last man to make the four-man U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe team. Since, he continued to climb the ranks in arguably the nation’s strongest discipline across skiing and snowboarding.

Irving earned his second World Cup win this season, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Friday.

Irving posted a 94-point final run, edging Canadian Brendan Mackay by one point. David Wise, the two-time Olympic champion who won his fifth X Games Aspen title last Sunday, was third.

A tribute was held to 2015 World champion Kyle Smaine, a U.S. halfpipe skier who died in an avalanche in Japan last Sunday.

“We’re all skiing the best we have because we’re all skiing with Kyle in our hearts,” Irving said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “We’re skiing for him, and we know he’s looking down on us. We miss you Kyle. We love you. Thank you for keeping us safe in the pipe today.”

Irving also won the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Dec. 17. Plus, the 23-year-old from Colorado had his best career X Games Aspen finish last Sunday, taking second.

The next major event is the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in early March. Irving was third at the last worlds in 2021, then fifth at the Olympics last February.

The U.S. has been the strongest nation in men’s ski halfpipe since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014. Wise won the first two gold medals. Alex Ferreira won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics. Aaron Blunck is a world champion and X Games champion.

Irving is younger than all of them and has beaten all of them at multiple competitions this season.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t competed since the Games after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

In snowboarding events at Mammoth, Americans Julia Marino and Lyon Farrell earned slopestyle wins by posting the top qualification scores. The finals were canceled due to wind.

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Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Olympic 400m champion, announces pregnancy

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Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the two-time reigning Olympic 400m champion, announced she is pregnant with her first child.

“New Year, New Blessing,” she posted on social media with husband Maicel Uibo, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist in the decathlon for Estonia. “We can’t wait to meet our little bundle of joy.”

Miller-Uibo, 28, followed her repeat Olympic title in Tokyo by winning her first world indoor and outdoor titles last year.

Also last year, Miller-Uibo said she planned to drop the 400m and focus on the 200m going into the 2024 Paris Games rather than possibly bid to become the first woman to win the same individual Olympic running event three times.

She has plenty of experience in the 200m, making her world championships debut in that event in 2013 and placing fourth. She earned 200m bronze at the 2017 Worlds, was the world’s fastest woman in the event in 2019 and petitioned for a Tokyo Olympic schedule change to make a 200m-400m double easier. The petition was unsuccessful.

She did both races anyway, finishing last in the 200m final, 1.7 seconds behind the penultimate finisher on the same day of the 400m first round.

She did not race the 200m at last July’s worlds, where the 200m and 400m overlapped.

Notable moms to win individual Olympic sprint titles include American Wilma Rudolph, who swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1960 Rome Olympics two years after having daughter Yolanda.

And Dutchwoman Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics, when the mother of two also held world records in the high jump and long jump, two events in which she didn’t compete at those Games.

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