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Mark McMorris fractured rib is steadily improving, so much so that the gold-medal favourite in Sochi plans to snowboard in a few days to "see how it goes." McMorris responded in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that he feels "pretty good" nearly a week after his crash during the Winter X Games slopestyle final. He has a few more days to heal with slopestyle qualifying at the Sochi Games not beginning until Feb. 6. Last weekend, the 20-year-old from Regina caught his snowboard on the lip of a rail and landed hard on the bar, then slid down on his right side before hitting the snow. "I was in a lot of pain and I couldnt breathe," he said in the email. "I just had to get up. I couldnt lay there. I was so disappointed." He made it down the hill that afternoon under his own power and headed to the hospital, where X-rays revealed he had a fractured rib but no other damage. And now McMorris refuses to let the fall derail his Olympic aspirations. "I am really blessed and lucky I get a second chance to try and give it a shot," he said. Asked if his rib might hamper him during competition, McMorris responded: "I cant predict it until I get out there and try." McMorris arrived in Europe early so he could get accustomed to the time difference. He said hes pretty much been "in a stationary place trying to get better. Feeling Ok but my rib is still broken so its not 100 per cent. ... Every day (the rib) gets better and I still have 4 or 5 days before I compete." Sore rib and all, McMorris will still be one of the favourites as slopestyle makes its Olympic debut. He could be the biggest challenger to Shaun White, who will also try to defend his title in the halfpipe. Pressure being the front-runner? "For sure," McMorris said in an interview at Winter X, a few days before his crash. "Whenever youre at the top of the sport, people look to you to keep going. Ive proven time and time again, that I can get the result. "Now, when were talking on an even bigger level, the Olympics, its really put on my shoulders. But everybody feels pressure. You can either take it in a positive or negative way. I try to feed off of it." McMorris doesnt view White so much with a sense of awe, but rather as simply another competitor in a talent-rich field that includes fellow Canadian rider Max Parrot, who won at Winter X with back-to-back triple-cork jumps. In fact, its White whos been doing most of the chasing in this event, because McMorris has been the snowboarder with the innovative tricks. "(White) is another guy youve got to beat," McMorris said in the interview before his crash. "I go to a contest to ride the best I can. Its in the judges hands after that. Thats what everybody does. I dont think its a sport where youre trying to take down any certain person. Youre trying to win a contest and do the best you can do." Stitched Jerseys For Sale .The result meant Juventus will spend the winter break three points clear of Roma after the league leader beat Cagliari 3-1 on Thursday.Milan remained seventh ahead of the rest of the weekends fixtures, but was provisionally two points behind third-place Napoli in their duel for the final Champions League spot. Authentic Jerseys For Sale . Villarreals victory in Valencia kept it in fourth place and in control of Spains last Champions League spot. Uche broke free in the area in the 10th minute and was brought down by goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who was shown a direct red card. https://www.jerseysforsalechina.com/.com) - Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies withstood 18 Dallas 3-pointers, as Memphis took control in the third quarter and fended off a Mavericks rally en route to a 114-105 win in a Southwest Division showdown. China Jerseys For Sale . Right-hander Todd Redmond took the loss. Jose Bautista hit his second home run of the spring. Here are a handful of tidbits from around camp: Hutchison impressive The Blue Jays are being cautious when talking about their young arms but internally, excitement is building over the way Drew Hutchison is looking and performing this spring. Jerseys For Sale . He insists hes not counting. "If youre thinking hits, youre not paying attention to wins," Altuve said Sunday after leading the Houston Astros past the Texas Rangers 3-2.Marit Bjoergen lived up to her billing as the hot favorite by winning the womens 15-kilometer skiathlon at Sochi on Saturday, giving the Norwegian cross-country skier her fourth career Olympic gold medal. Bjoergen pulled away from Swedens Charlotte Kalla on the final straight to win in 38 minutes, 33.6 seconds and defend her title from the 2010 Vancouver Games. Kalla was 1.8 seconds back. Heidi Weng of Norway took bronze. Bjoergen was the most successful athlete of the Vancouver Games with three gold medals, a silver and a bronze and showed right away she has the ability to match that feat in Sochi. With a group of five skiers staying together until the last kilometer, Kalla tried to pull away in the final tough uphill section and decide the race before the final sprint. Only Bjoergen was able to match her pace going up the hill, and the Norwegian then went in front as they entered the stadium. Kalla had no answer for the strong finish by Bjoergen, who had time to turn her head and then raise her arm in celebration as she crossed the line. The skiathlon event starts with 7.5 kilometers of classical-style skiing before switching to freestyle, making it a tough test of the athhletes all-round abilities.dddddddddddd Kalla won the 10K freestyle event in Vancouver four years ago and showed she has vastly improved her classical style skiing since then. She has never finished on the podium in a skiathlon on the World Cup circuit and celebrated as if she had won on Saturday, raising her arms to celebrate as she crossed the line behind Bjoergen and then jumping up and down holding her skis in the air. She prevented a Norwegian sweep of the medals, with Therese Johaug finishing fourth. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland was fifth. Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, a three-time overall World Cup winner who has been struggling with a foot injury, was with the leading group of seven skiers at the halfway mark but slipped and fell just as she was about to enter her station for the ski change and lost several seconds. She exited the ski change 7.4 seconds behind Kalla, and never came any closer during the freestyle. Entering the last lap, she was nearly 19 seconds behind and she finished sixth, 58.1 seconds back. The next womens event is the individual freestyle sprint on Tuesday, when Bjoergen is again among the favorites. The mens 30K skiathlon is Sunday. ' ' '