Max Parrot: Canadian snowboarder says cancer battle was his 'contest of the year'

'They put a box in my chest' - Snowboarder Parrot on emotional cancer battle

Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot says his recent battle with cancer was his "contest of the year".

Parrot, 25, was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in December 2018, 10 months after winning slopestyle silver at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

He had 12 rounds of chemotherapy over six months and in July 2019, revealed he had "beaten cancer".

"Cancer was my contest of the year, that was the one I had to win. But that contest was for six months," he said.

Speaking on the BBC's Ski Sunday, he added: "I knew from the start that I was going to beat it, because it wasn't an option to me."

Parrot was diagnosed with the disease just four days before Christmas 2018 after suffering swollen lymph nodes in his neck.

"I was shocked because I wasn't feeling sick," he said.

"The first thing I thought about was my snowboard season. Of course, after talking more to my doctor I understood that if I didn't treat it, I would die from it, and when she told me that, I realised we had to get [treatment] started now.

"I was scared of dying. I was scared of not being able to snowboard again, because I didn't know how my body would be after all the treatment."

He added: "The hardest part was coming through the end. I even wanted to quit [treatment]. After five months of going to hospital and having no life, not doing the sport I love, everything was taken away from me and it was really hard.

"I had huge downs, and it was a hard battle, but I think what helped me a lot to get through was when I learned there would be an X Games in Norway at the end of August. I knew my treatments would end mid-June, so that would give me two months to get back on track."

On 31 August 2019, in his first competition after returning, Parrot won big air gold at the X Games Europe in Oslo.

He will compete at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, this weekend.

"I wanted to come back strong, as though nothing had happened, because I wanted to put it behind me, and move on to where I was before," he said.

"Right now, I'm trying to enjoy every day as much as I can, having fun.

"Of course I'll always have that stress and pressure of contest, but it's different now."

Watch the full feature with Max Parrot on Ski Sunday on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this Sunday, 26 January from 19:00 GMT.

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