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Torah Bright Wins Gold at Olympics

published  First Published: 20/02/2010
Article written by: David Wheaton
Torah lived up to her billing by becoming the first Australia to win an Olympic gold medal in snowboarding at Cypress Mountain this afternoon.
Wearing gold goggles and gold bindings, Bright was unwilling to settle for less than a matching accessory around her neck, despite taking the hard way to Winter Olympics victory.
Torah recovered from a fall on her first run in the final to nail the most technically difficult run in women's snowboarding, earning a huge score of 45.0 points out of 50 to clinch the gold.
The pressure on Bright, as one of Australia's few gold medal contenders, was enormous after a troubled preparation in which she sustained three concussions while trying to perfect a winning Olympic run.
Torah was unable to train for two weeks leading into the Games, after slamming her head into the floor of the pipe while preparing for the X Games last month.
However Bright and her brother/coach Ben were confident that they had what was required to win in Vancouver after dominating many of the world's top competition for the past four years.
Falling on the first run is never good because it puts a lot of pressure on you, she said.

But once I got up to the top, I had one more run and I thought:  'I know what I have to do, I have done it before'. I was standing up the top and saw my family and friends and thought: 'We are all out here having fun, let's go have some fun', she said afterwards.

I felt if I landed that run I was going to be on top.

By landing her run, Bright took the lead from defending Olympic champion Hannah Teter (42.4) but had to wait a nervous half hour as the ten remaining riders took their shot at her.
2002 Olympic champion Kelly Clark (USA) was the only rider still regarded as a threat but she put down a tentative run which scored only 42.2 points, leaving her with the bronze medal.
Bright has established herself as the most progressive rider in the women's event and is the only woman who is able to do her top trick, a switch backside 720, which involves two blind spins from a backwards take-off.
Earlier, she performed the trick to qualify for the final in first place, earning the highest score of the day 45.8 points.
Torah is relatively anonymous outside snowboarding circles and has no major endorsements away from her sport.
Australia's second ranked rider Holly Crawford also finished in the top ten, claiming eight place with a score of 30.3.
This is going to be a year to remember for Torah, who announced she will be married later this year.



Related Article: Winter Olymics 2010 Officially Opens


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