13 Feb 2014
SNOWBOARD - HALFPIPE: Torah Bright has produced a sensational final run in the women’s halfpipe final to clinch silver – Australia’s first medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
“It was perhaps one of the hardest events I’ve ridden in, in a long time. It was just really challenging,” Bright said.
“I’m just so happy the night’s over really and that I was able to put down a run.”
The Vancouver 2010 champion was just 0.25 points behind American Kaitlyn Farrington who scored 91.75 with her second run. The bronze went to Torino 2002 champion and pre-event favourite Kelly Clark (USA) who nailed the last run of the competition (90.75) after falling heavily on her first run.
The standard was phenomenal and the tension was high at Extreme Park. American Hannah Teter was fourth with 90.50 after leading the 12-woman final from her 1st run.
Bright, 27, increased her degree of difficulty from qualification and held nothing back. On Run 1 she fell, missing her landing on a frontside 540 but she headed back up the hill and did the job second time round.
“After the first run I was like ‘really? I did this again to my family and my friends watching, I put them through the wringer again, why?’” Bright said, referring to her similar ride at the Olympics four years ago.
The incredible performance follows Bright’s seventh in the Slopestyle final three days ago. In four days she will race the Snowboard Cross, showing she is the most versatile and talented snowboarder at the Games.
“I don’t care about the colour of the medal. Life isn’t about winning it’s about putting your best foot forward and sharing your light.”
Born in Cooma, NSW, Bright is coached by her brother Ben, who has also been and emotional help for her, since her divorce from fellow snowboarder Jake Welch.
“I’ve got to give a shout out to Benny, especially this past year, he’s been an incredible support to me. He has given so much to me. I love him, he’s my brother, but he’s a dear friend.”
She went on to dedicate the silver medal to her biggest fans.
“It’s for my family, it’s for my brother, it’s for everybody who takes joy from what I do.”
Bright’s medal follows her gold at Vancouver 2010 and it now takes Australia’s total Olympic Winter tally to 10.
Before tonight in Sochi, Australian athletes had achieved five top-10 performances and are now on the medal tally for the sixth consecutive Winter Games.
Other Aussies that featured in the Snowboard Halfpipe event included Stephanie Magiros who finished 18th after making the semi-final, Hannah Trigger (20th) and Holly Crawford (26th).