Cancer survivor wins gold at Winter Olympics

Dylan Bettencourt

Three years ago, Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot won his battle against cancer. Today, he is a gold medal winner at the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which threatened to end his career on the board, but he fought back and defeated the illness by showing he has what it takes to be a champion at the highest level of his sport competition.

Parrot’s score of 90.96 landed him the gold medal ahead of China’s 17-year-old sensation Su Yiming and fellow Canadian Mark McMorris, who claimed the bronze medal.

“It feels amazing,” Parrot told BBC Sport.

“So much happened in these last few years. The last time I was at the Olympics, in Pyeongchang, I got a silver medal, and then I had to deal with cancer. It was a nightmare. It’s hard to describe what I’ve been through.”

Parrot was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at the end of 2018 and after a year of chemotherapy he was deemed free of cancer, but the cancer took a massive toll on his body.

“You have no cardio, you have no energy, you have no muscles. To be back out here, at the Olympics, on a podium again but with a gold medal feels amazing,” he said.

No gold medal is complete without a little controversy and that came when the judges failed to notice that Parrot missed a board grab during his run which would have hampered his score.

Sometimes in sport those who need it most get a little bit of luck to receive the awards.

Parrot’s journey with cancer was developed into a film where his period of eight months of chemotherapy is documented. The movie is titled, Max. Life As A Gold Medal was released last month.

Half of the income from the movie will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada where Parrot is a spokesperson.

Image source: @USAToday