Canada's Max Parrot Wins Gold on Snowboard After Beating Cancer

He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2018.

Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Max Parrot, a Canadian snowboarder, won a gold medal in the slopestyle event at the Beijing Winter Olympics four years after he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. It was Parrot's first gold medal, and his second time winning an Olympic medal. He won a silver medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

After he was diagnosed, Parrot underwent 12 rounds of chemotherapy, according to CNN. He announced that he was cancer-free in July 2019, but didn't confirm whether he was going to compete on the world stage again.

"They were really hard times and, at times, I felt like I was a lion in a cage because I wasn't able to do what I love the most, which is snowboarding," Parrot told CNN. "That was the first time in my life that I had to put my snowboard in the closet. Snowboarding is all I know, so it was really hard for me."

Parrot is also a seven-time X Games champion, and he won gold at that event in 2019 just months after announcing that he beat cancer.

"As a person, I used to take life for granted before, and now I don't," Parrot said. "Every time I strap my feet onto my snowboard, I appreciate it so much more than before. I appreciate being able to do my passion every day.”

China's Su Yiming won the silver medal and Canada's Mark McMorris won bronze in the slopestyle event.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.