Torah Bright

Getty Images

Injured Torah Bright, halfpipe champ, misses Australia Olympic team

Leave a comment

An injured Torah Bright, arguably Australia’s greatest Winter Olympian, was left off the nation’s Olympic snowboarding team.

Bright, the 2010 Olympic halfpipe champ who took silver in 2014, returned to competition in December for the first time since January 2016.

She finished 15th and eighth in two World Cups, withdrawing from the final of the latter with what was believed a wrist injury that would have prevented her from competing in PyeongChang, according to the Australian.

The Australian Olympic Committee confirmed Bright wasn’t nominated to the team due to injury.

Regardless, the two women who made it (Emily Arthur and Holly Crawford) outperformed Bright in World Cups this season.

Bright competed in three snowboarding events in Sochi — halfpipe, slopestyle (seventh) and snowboard cross (18th).

The Australian team for PyeongChang includes an Olympic men’s halfpipe medal favorite — 2017 X Games champion Scotty James.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. athletes qualified for Winter Olympics

Torah Bright eyes fourth Olympics in 2018

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Torah Bright has only competed once in the last two and a half years, but the Australian Olympic snowboard champion acknowledged on Thursday that she does plan to compete in the PyeongChang Winter Games.

Bright gave the word of approval on an Australian TV morning show (video here).

Bright is arguably the greatest Australian Winter Olympian, winning halfpipe gold in 2010 and silver in 2014. She competed in three snowboarding events in Sochi — halfpipe, slopestyle (seventh) and snowboard cross (18th).

Come February, Bright will be older than any previous Olympic halfpipe medalist.

“Let’s just say I will not be doing three events again,” she said in August 2015, according to the Australia Olympic Committee. “Maybe two. Halfpipe and slopestyle are essentially the same thing if you are riding. They help each other.”

Bright’s only contest in the last two and a half years was the Laax Open in January 2016. She finished second in halfpipe behind U.S. Olympian Arielle Gold. The world’s best riders, Kelly Clark and Chloe Kim, were not at that event.

Bright last competed at the Winter X Games in 2015.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Kelly Clark hopes to add more Olympic bib to historic wall

Farrington, Bright and Clark talk women’s halfpipe final

Leave a comment

Kaitlyn Farrington couldn’t believe that she had emerged as the new Olympic women’s snowboard halfpipe champion.

One wonders if many of those who observed Wednesday’s final felt the same way after the Idaho native narrowly won the gold over Vancouver halfpipe winner Torah Bright of Australia.

Farrington had posted the best semifinal score to advance into the main event and she had been considered a medal contender going into Sochi.

VIDEO: Meet Kaitlyn Farrington, America’s new sweetheart

But the prospect of beating all three former Olympic gold medalists in the final – Bright plus two of Farrington’s own teammates, Kelly Clark (2002) and Hannah Teter (2006) – seemed low.

Instead, Farrington sprang a surprise.

“I was hoping to make the finals, that was my main goal,” Farrington said afterwards. “And then during finals, I thought if I land a good run, I might be on the podium. So to come out on top–I just can’t believe it.

“I can’t believe I was sitting there in front of the last three gold medalists. It’s crazy. Snowboarding is changing so much. It’s anybody’s game on any day.”

VIDEO: How did they pull off their halfpipe tricks?

Bright was almost able to defend her crown despite a fall on her first run. Her second run earned her a strong 91.50, but that was just a quarter of a point shy of Farrington’s best, a 91.75 on her own second run.

“It was perhaps one of the hardest events I’ve ridden in, in a long time,” said Bright. “It was just really challenging. I’m just so happy the night’s over really and that I was able to put down a run.”

Then there was Clark, who showed the determination that’s made her the most decorated snowboarder in history.

On her first run, she had slammed onto the ledge of the pipe and then fell into it. That put the pressure firmly on her as she went out on the last run of the competition.

But the ’02 Salt Lake winner still went right for Farrington and Bright, breaking out a 1080 as part of a clean trip through.

VIDEO: Farrington a refreshing winner

It wasn’t enough for gold as the judges gave her a 90.75, but it allowed her to go past Teter and earn the bronze – her third Olympic medal in four tries.

“If I didn’t win, I’m glad someone from the U.S. did, because we’re going to get to see our flag raised and hear our national anthem,” Clark said.

All in all, a fun night at Rosa Khutor.