Professional athletes’ advice to Mount Royal University students
McMorris brothers speak at New Student Orientation
Mount Royal University’s Kenyon Court bleachers erupted with cheers as 1,600 students welcomed a 2014 Sochi Olympian and his brother to the stage during this year’s new student orientation. On Wednesday, Sept. 3, Mark and Craig McMorris spoke about their experiences and how to “make your mark” in university and in life. The pair gave four key points to success:
1. “Find what you love and do it a lot.”
Mark McMorris, 20, grew up in the flat lands of Saskatchewan. He started snowboarding at age five in Lake Louise, Alta. After that first ride, he began to develop his skills further at home. Mark McMorris practiced on the vertically-challenged prairies using custom built ramps and rails on his family’s farm. In 2010, he won his first World Cup at Canada Olympic Park (COP) in Calgary. That win helped MArk McMorris realize he could have a future in snowboarding.
The athlete went on to win numerous X Games competitions, developing a strong reputation in slope-style snowboarding for progressive tricks. He became the first person to land a triple cork snowboarding move in 2012, and he was the first Canadian to win a gold medal in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
2. “Keep good times close and good friends closer.”
From playing on the farm to Mark McMorris’ appearance on the Olympic podium, Craig McMorris has been Mark McMorris’ motivator, supporter and friend. Mark McMorris described how Craig McMorris would help push him to the limit in the simplest ways.
“Craig is a huge motivator in everything I do. Here’s a story: Craig was the first one to do a back flip. He was probably five and I was three. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ It didn’t matter, even when I was younger, I just had to learn. The back and forth we have and the progression — I would be no where without that.”
Siblings and family, friends, professors or other people in your life can become life-long inspirations. Mark Mcmorris says, “Find your support team and the people who are going to help you in your journey.” Craig McMorris stressed that students should be “open to new relationships.”
3. “Live for the moment.”
Craig McMorris asked the audience, “How can you use ‘you’ to make a mark?” He says that to make your mark in life you have to live in the moment.
“Mark lives for the moment more than anybody I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. The look that he gives at the top of the slope is something to be reckoned with.”
4. “Expect challenges… that’s where the living starts.”
Eleven days before Mark McMorris was to compete in Sochi, he broke a rib in an X Games competition.
“I was thinking way too far ahead, and I missed the pop [rail] by two inches. I slammed my rib right on the edge corner, and I landed on my rib and my back.”
Craig McMorris points to a photo from that day. He asks Mark McMorris, “What was going through your mind in that 30 seconds?” Mark McMorris replies, “My Olympic dreams are flashing before my eyes. You know, you work so hard to get somewhere, then in a split second it can be all over.”
For the next two weeks Mark McMorris did water aerobics and therapy. He recovered enough to compete and later win a medal at the Olympics.
“Seeing my family there and with all of Canada watching, it made me want to do it that much more. It takes hard times to get back to the good times.”
McMorris & McMorris Tidbits
- Mark McMorris got a ‘live for the moment’ tattoo at age 15 in New Zealand.
- Craig McMorris was a broadcaster at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He covered his brother’s qualifying jump.
- Craig McMorris is also one of Canada’s top snowboarders. In 2013, he was on the Canadian National Snowboarding Team.
- Both brothers starred on MTV’s McMorris & McMorris. The show documented Mark’s ride to Sochi with his family and friends.