How Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris inspired India's prime minister
Published Saturday, February 24, 2018 7:14AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:53PM EST
Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris has caught the attention of the prime minister of India.
Narendra Modi has been using the story of the scrappy Saskatchewan snowboarder in speeches he gives to inspire students.
McMorris suffered life-threatening injuries in a crash less than a year ago, including a broken jaw, ruptured spleen and a collapsed left lung.
But he worked hard to recover and went on to win a bronze medal in slopestyle for Canada in Pyeongchang.
Modi recently shared a video excerpt from a speech on Twitter, and praised McMorris for his “tenacity and courage.”
McMorris’ manager heard Modi was a fan, and sent a signed Olympic bib to India with hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, who was travelling from South Korea to India to promote women’s hockey.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who attended an event alongside Wickenheiser as he wrapped up his trade mission in India, presented Modi with the bib.
“I don’t know if this is deliberate, but (McMorris) is from Saskatchewan where they make a lot of pulses,” Trudeau joked. “Maybe he wanted you to know about that.”
India is a major destination for Canadian pulses, including peas and lentis, exporting $548 million worth in 2015. India disappointed Canada last fall with a 50 per cent tariff.
McMorris told The Canadian Press that he was happy to help Modi as he inspires students.
“Such a big place like India and then he tells my story,” McMorris said. “It's just so random, but I'm glad my story can help be used like that.”
With files from The Canadian Press
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. pic.twitter.com/oGPShBKBD8— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 23, 2018
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. pic.twitter.com/JaJMvVVJ0H— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 24, 2018