Bright lands golden run
19 February 2010
There was not a dry eye, nor a dry palm in the Australian camp at the women’s snowboard halfpipe tonight as Torah Bright won gold in truly spectacular fashion.
Going into the final in first place, Bright crashed out in the first run trying to pull off a move that would see her on the podium. Her crash cost her dearly, finishing the first run with a mere 5.9 points.
Posting the lowest score, Bright was forced to face the pipe first in the second run – a position no rider desires.
"Falling on the first run is never good," Bright said. "Falling twice in that run sure wasn’t good either, I kind of hurt my leg then."
“Once I got up the top, I obviously couldn’t change that. I knew what I had to do, so I was just going to get out there and do it. At the top I looked down and saw all my family and friends, so I was going to go have some fun, and it all worked out."
With a clear head and gold in sight, Bright produced a crisp run with five near-perfect trick executions, earning her a huge score of 45.00.
With eleven riders still to compete, you could cut the tension with a knife.
Holly Crawford, also crashing out in the first run, was third up on the pipe and suppressed nerves to produce a good, clean run claiming 30.3 points.
Crawford’s admirable result had her sitting just outside the medals in sixth position.
Bright’s score continued to hold strong as each rider took to the pipe. Gold medal favourite Kelly Clark, who produced a mediocre first run, gave it her all in the second. Clark posted 42.2 on the board – not enough to take down the young athlete from Cooma.
Chinese dark horse Liu Jiayu, sitting in the bronze medal position prior to Clark’s run, failed to improve on her score of 39.3, meaning she was out of the medals and out of the Games. With this result, Bright was assured of a medal – but the crowd held its breath on the colour of the medal.
Defending gold medallist from Torino 2006, Hannah Teter of the USA, was the final rider to leave the hill.
Teter produced a solid run but it was not enough. As her score of 39.2 shot up on the scoreboard, the green and gold crowd erupted.
Bright, having finished fifth in Torino four years ago, had realised her Olympic dream and won gold for Australia.
As the reality of her Olympc glory set in, Bright embraced her coach and brother, Ben Bright and flashed the crowd her famous pearly grin much to the delight of people all over the world - not least of all her parents who had made a shock appearance at the Games.
“I saw them after my second qualifying run in the afternoon, I had no idea they would be here, I thought they were back home in Australia, I told them not to come."
AOC – Cypress Mountain