Maxence Parrot has gone from a nightmare to a dream. Just two months after his last treatment to defeat Hodgkin's lymphoma, the Quebec snowboarder won gold on his return to competition, winning the Big Air at the X Games in Oslo on Saturday.
After dominating the qualifiers, Parrot won a fifth career gold medal in Big Air at the X Games.
"It was a goal I had in mind in April when it was announced that there would be X Games in August," said Parrot in a telephone interview with The Canadian Press. It was a motivation to finish my chemotherapy. Since that time, I had a nightmare in the hospital. Today, I live a dream.
"These are big emotions. It's also a way for me to turn the page on everything that has happened in the last few months. "
Parrot revealed in January that he had Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer that is "typically characterized by the presence of abnormal cells," according to Lymphoma Canada. He must have put a cross on the rest of his season.
After finally receiving confirmation that his cancer was in remission, the Bromont skateboarder worked hard to be ready for Saturday's competition in Norway.
"I trained as much as I could, almost six days a week, very intensively," said Parrot. When I want to achieve something, I am ready to do anything to achieve it. My goal was to compete in today's competition. I succeeded. I had a lot of fun being on my board. It's different than being in the hospital.
"Usually during the summer, my goal is to learn new maneuvers for the coming season. There, I went back to zero. I had no more muscles, no more cardio and the mind was not perfect either. There was a lot to work on. I have been draining a lot of energy in training in the last two months. "
In the final, when the top two of three jumps were counted, Parrot scored 91.00. Swede Sven Thorgren followed in second place with a score of 88.33, ahead of Japanese Yuki Kadono, with 84.66 points.
Parrot, whose last competition was in November 2018, soon found itself in the lead by winning a cab triple cork 1620 indy and a frontside triple cork mute. Penultimate in the third round, Parrot dropped a hand to the ground after a triple cork mute frontside that did not count.
Kanado was the last to go down the hill and needed a score of over 43.00 to beat Parrot. Kanado put his hands down after his frontside 1440 tail grab and he was content with a score of 36.66 which still allowed him to climb on the third step of the podium.
"The atmosphere is always very friendly between guys, but today, not only after my victory, but all day long, everyone was hugging me," said Parrot. The world was happy to see me again and it was mutual. "
The next scheduled competition for Parrot will only take place in December. He had to return to Quebec on Sunday and planned to take a well-deserved two-week vacation.
"It's thanks to the doctors and nurses, my family, my girlfriend, my nutritionist, my sports psychologist, all my team around me if I managed to get where I am today and I'm very grateful Parrot insisted.
Saskatchewan's Mark McMorris was also in the final. He missed his three jumps, however, and finished fifth with a score of 30.00.