Meet Mark McMorris: The Canadian snowboarder whose bib was gifted to PM Narendra Modi by Justin Trudeau

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New Delhi | Updated: February 24, 2018 1:33 PM

PM Modi who was speaking to the children as a friend, guide and motivator asked them to take inspiration from McMorris who won a bronze medal in the recently concluded Pyeongchang Winter Olympics despite being in a coma 11 months ago.

mcmorris, mark mcmorris, narendra modi, pm narendra modi, justin trudeau, justin trudeau gift to pm modi, pm modi, trudeau gift to modi, justin trudeau india visitMark McMorris had crashed into a tree in the backcountry near Whistler in March last year. (Source: Twitter/Reuters)

In a country like India where people are literally obsessed with cricket and players are treated like God, not very often do you see any other athlete making the headlines. If that athlete is from another country, the moment becomes even more special. This is exactly what happened last week when Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking to the students during ‘Pariksha pe Charcha’, gave the example of Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris.

PM Modi who was speaking to the children as a friend, guide and motivator asked them to take inspiration from McMorris who won a bronze medal in the recently concluded Pyeongchang Winter Olympics despite being in a coma 11 months ago.

When the news reached to the 23-year-old athlete, in a special gesture, Canadian International Olympic Committee member Hayley Wickenheiser was headed to India, where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was to meet with Modi. Wickenheiser took McMorris’ bib from the Winter Olympics to give it to the Canadian Prime Minister.

This jacket was eventually presented to PM Modi by his counterpart on Friday. “Canadians inspiring the world: PM @narendramodi sometimes tells students the story of @markmcmorris’ perseverance back to the podium in the face of injury & adversity. Today, I was honoured to present him with Mark’s signed competition bib from #PyeongChang2018,” Trudeau posted on Twitter along with the video of the moment when he handed over the bib.

PM Narendra Modi also took the gift with a warm heart. He took to Twitter on Saturday morning and shared a part of his speech where he had talked about Mark McMorris. “We are extremely proud of @markmcmorris! His tenacity and courage inspire people across the world. Here’s what I had said about his accomplishment during my recent Townhall with students,” PM Modi said.

McMorris had crashed into a tree in the backcountry near Whistler in March last year. He broke 17 bones, collapsed a lung and ruptured his spleen. Doctors put him in a medically induced coma, and McMorris had surgeries on his jaw, arm, lung and spleen.

However, the athlete made a dramatic yet inspiring comeback. “It was cool that it actually made it to him,” McMorris said about the bib gifted to PM Modi.

“Adam showed me the video this morning of him giving it to Prime Minister Modi, and Justin Trudeau is stoked on his stuff. It’s pretty cool, pretty small world like that. Such a big place of India and then he tells my story. It’s just so random, but I’m glad my story can help be used like that,” he added.

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