Snowboarders Mark McMorris and Maxence Parrot have met the qualifications to be named to Canada's team for the 2018 Winter Olympics, Canada Snowboard will announce Tuesday.
The two snowboarders would be gold-medal favourites in both snowboard slopestyle and the new event of snowboard big air next February in Pyeongchang, South Korea. On the World Snowboard Tour, McMorris, from Regina, is ranked first in slopestyle and second in big air. Parrot, from Bromont, Que., is first in big air and fifth in slopestyle.
The Olympic team will officially be named in early 2018.
The Canada Snowboard announcement comes as McMorris has suffered serious injuries – including a broken jaw, a broken left arm and a fractured pelvis – after a crash Saturday in the backcountry of Whistler, B.C., where he hit a tree after a jump.
Even though McMorris has met the qualifications, he will have to show that he is ready. "Mark will have to demonstrate his competition readiness," said Patrick Jarvis, executive director of Canada Snowboard.
The length of McMorris's recovery is unclear, though people close to him are confident he will be ready. The 23-year-old has shown in the past that he can rally from injury.
He won a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where slopestyle made its debut at the Games. His score was 88.75, behind the 93.50 of gold medalist Sage Kotsenburg of the United States and the 91.75 of Norway's Stale Sandbech. Parrot finished fifth with 87.25.
Parrot said qualifying early for the Games is a plus.
"When I was going to Sochi, I only got my spot two weeks before the Olympics," the 22-year-old said. "It's good to know it now."
Men's snowboard slopestyle will take place on the first weekend of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the men's big air final will be held on the last weekend.