QUEBEC CITY—The dramatic freestyle snowboarding event that makes its Olympic debut next year did not disappoint fans here Saturday night.

It came down to the third and final run between two Canadians to determine who would stand on the top step of the men’s World Cup big air podium. Maxence Parrot got himself to first with a triple cork 1440, a dizzying trick involving three flips and four rotations off a single jump. And the only man who could shift him from that spot was Canadian teammate Mark McMorris, who dropped in last with the same trick, leaving the crowd to wait and see if the judges would think it was enough.

It was — just.

“So cool, coming off injury and having all this success,” said McMorris, who returned to competition this season after six months of rehabilitation for a broken femur sustained in a crash at a big air event a year ago.

“To win the series here in Canada and on my last run, last rider to drop for the whole night, it’s so special,” he said, about securing the big air series crystal globe along with his latest World Cup win.

“I’m going into slopestyle (Sunday) and I’m looking good for 2018, so I can’t complain about a thing.”

Neither can Canada Snowboard.

Canada was the only country to have three riders in the 10-man final of big air, with Parrot on the podium in second and Tyler Nicholson finishing fifth.

And, on Sunday, there are four Canadian men and one woman, Brooke Voight, qualified for the finals in slopestyle. That event, which made its Olympic debut in 2014 Sochi, involves a mountain course of three jumps and rail features.

Canada has such strength on the men’s side of slopestyle and big air snowboarding that just making the Olympic team will be difficult. The men’s national team has seven strong riders who routinely find the podium in both events but it won’t be able to take more than four of them to the 2018 Pyeonchang Games.

“It feels like we’re always standing one and two, or even a sweep — the Canadian team is looking strong,” said McMorris, who won a bronze medal at the 2014 Games.

Big air, one of four new events for the upcoming Winter Games, embodies the International Olympic Committee’s desire for adding new sports that are shorter, television-friendly and can attract a younger audience.

Here the event was staged on a jump built on scaffolding 14 storeys high in the heart of the city.

On the ski side, which was not included as an event for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, Switzerland’s Kai Mahler won Saturday night’s big air World Cup. Teal Harle was the top Canadian in fourth with teammate Mark Hendrickson in sixth.

Canada’s female skiers and snowboarders failed to advance to Saturday’s big air final. Austria’s Anna Gasser won in snowboarding while Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud took the top spot in skiing.

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