Parents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are loud and attention-grabbing, while others are of few words. Some are long-winded, detail-oriented, and assertive, while others are very hands-off. The many emails involved in making this article series was a reminder of this. Those emails were also a good reminder that our parents, in their own unique way, are present throughout our entire lives. They see us at our best and at our worst. Therefore, they are probably the most important people to talk to when it comes to getting to know someone, even though they are often overlooked. This series flips that on its head. Adapted for the web - from issue 12.3 - this six-part interview explores the childhoods of Scott Stevens, Mikey Rencz, Jody Wachniak, Mark McMorris, Seb Picard, and Chris Rasman, from the perspective of their parents. To start this series off, we have Don and Cindy. The parents of the Canadian favourite, Mark McMorris, explaining what it has been like to raise one of the best in the world.

Don & Cindy McMorris interviewed by William Fraser

What was Mark’s favourite food growing up?

Pepperoni pizza from Bubba’s Pizza. It was the pizza joint at the local ski hill, Mission Ridge. One, it was good pizza. Two, it meant him and Craig were snowboarding at the hill.

What's Mark's middle name?

That’s an easy one. Mark LEE McMorris. Mark's middle name stems from his Grandfather Leo.

Mark's First Day of School!

What is it like to watch your child snowboard?

It is crazy stressful to watch but we wouldn’t miss it. Cindy is worried about him getting hurt and I worry about how he won’t do as well as he wants, and how frustrating that is for Mark. He expects to do well, every time (a bit competitive).

“Without our folks, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They've always respected our love for snowboarding and that is everything! Craig and I can both agree that we are so lucky to have such rad parents.”

Mark McMorris

What was the moment you realized Mark wasn’t just “good,” but may be one of the best in the world?

I’m not really sure we realize that even now!!! Every so often we can let our minds wonder but seriously he is just Mark to us. Just one of our kids that we hope does well and is respectful to whomever he is around. He is just lucky to make a living out of his passion. That said, the first time we saw Mark win a World Cup event was in Calgary, he was 15. To say we were surprised was an understatement. But, we realized after that event that he may actually make some money at this. A year and a half later, he won double gold at the X Games. We had a bunch of friends come down to Aspen to watch with us. That was an incredible experience but we still never thought he was any better than anyone else competing. 

Mom, Mark, and Craig Getting a Beach Day In

Is there something you wish you could have taught him but knew you had to let him learn for himself?

Mark left home very young. We have always felt guilty that we couldn’t have travelled with him to help him along the way. Neither of us were in the position to travel. He had to learn his way and he did. Mark was always a very independent kid and knew what he wanted. It all worked out but there were many sleepless nights.

What’s the wildest fan story you have? Does anyone leave anything on the doorstep? Send anything to the house? Camp out on your front lawn? Share a story.

There are many very avid Olympic fans, after each Olympics we will get hundreds of letters, fan mail, and pictures that people want signed and sent back. We try and get Mark, when he is home, to sign them so we can send them back. We have also had a number of snowboards left on the front step to be signed when people know Mark is home. 

A funny story, at least to us, was after the first Olympics in Sochi, after we arrived home. The next day we had a poster on our front step, it was from a couple of our elderly neighbours. They had made it out of an old stencil kit that they must have had. It was very nice of them.  

Front 1080, Jackson, WY. [o] Aaron Blatt

What are you the most proud of your son for?

We are most proud of the person that he has become. Polite, humble, kind and generous. His snowboard accomplishments are nice but being a good person is far more important.

And, lastly, do you have a favourite trick?

The last one. It is incredibly stressful watching him snowboard. So when he lands his last trick, that stress is finally over.

A Little Dress-up Time
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