Max Parrot may have landed back on Canadian soil but the two-time Beijing snowboarding medalist is still riding high after competing at the 2022 Olympics in China.
Parrot, a native of Bromont, Que., dominated the slopestyle competition winning Canada’s first gold medal of the Games, then soared to a third place finish in the big air event.
“I’m still on a cloud,” Parrot told reporters in Montreal on Tuesday, adding it wasn’t something he imagined for himself as a young child. “So it kind of it still feels unreal.”
Parrot said he plans on celebrating with friends and family as a way to let it all sink in.
And there’s a lot to celebrate, with Parrot’s victories coming just three years after he underwent chemotherapy to treat Hodgkinʼs lymphoma.
“For six months, battling cancer was so hard,” he said. “To even think I would go to a third Olympics was not in my thoughts. It was too far ahead,” he said.
The experience, Parrot said, changed him as a person.
“I know not to take life for granted anymore and to not take any passions you have for granted anymore,” he said.
It has also given him a renewed appreciation for his sport.
“Every time I step up on my snowboard … I’m always smiling more than before,” he said.
His cancer journey has taught him how to be in the now – ultimately, he says, making him a better athlete.
Parrot explained how being in the present moment has helped him bring more focus to his training, when doing tricks and when competing.
“We can definitely say that cancer had a big impact, positively, on my career,” he said.
Parrot also took the opportunity to announce his new documentary in support of cancer research entitled Life as a Gold Medal.
The film, which chronicles his battle with cancer, is available to stream online on Parrot’s website.