Mark Fawcett, a native of St. John, N.B., is regarded as one of Canada's top snowboarding medal hopes at the Games in giant slalom. It's been a stunning season so far for the 27-year-old who earned four victories in Olympic trials races, took gold at the Bud Lite Grand Prix in Maine and added a bronze at a World Cup event. He's been actually ranked in the top-five internationally since 1991. He enjoyed an excellent 1996-97 campaign and was named the Alpine Rider of the Year by Ski Racing magazine. On the ISF circuit he ranked second overall with four victories including the prestigious Lord of the Boards meet in Austria and overall posted 11 top-10 finishes in 13 events. On the FIS World Cup circuit he earned two gold medals and a bronze to rank sixth. In 1995, he was the ISF's snowboarder of the year.
Fawcett began snowboarding in 1985 on golf courses and back hills. In 1989 he led a group of snowboarders to influence the Carabassett Valley Academy, a ski racing school in Maine, to allow snowboarders to train. "Being able to ride and train everyday made all the difference in the world," Fawcett said. "And the school now has a snowboard program with four coaches and over twenty athletes."