Who is Torah Bright?
Photo: John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports|
December 06, 2017 03:31 PM
Name: Torah Bright
Age: 30 (will turn 31 on 12/27/17)
- 2010 Olympic halfpipe gold medalist
- 2014 Olympic halfpipe silver medalist
- 5-time X Games halfpipe medalist (2 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
- 3-time Burton U.S. Open halfpipe champion
- 2006/07 World Snowboard Tour overall champion
Bright has competed in halfpipe at every Winter Olympics since 2006, earning gold in 2010 and silver in 2014. The Sochi Games were her most ambitious Olympics yet, as she qualified for three separate events: halfpipe, slopestyle and boardercross. Aside from the silver medal in halfpipe, she also reached the slopestyle final (finishing in 7th place) but was eliminated in the first round of the boardercross competition (finishing in 18th place).
Because Bright has competed very sparingly since the last Olympics, she's a bit of a wild card this season. If she attempts to qualify for a fourth Olympics, history suggests that she'd likely be a medal contender in halfpipe once again. Based on her past comments, she wouldn't be pursuing boardercross this time around.
In 2014, Bright became the first snowboarder to ever qualify for three different events. She competed in halfpipe (2nd), slopestyle (7th) and boardercross (18th) but has said that she doesn't plan to repeat that same trifecta in PyeongChang.
With two medals to her credit, Bright is currently tied with several other athletes for the title of Australia's most decorated Winter Olympian.
Bright combines big amplitude with technical tricks and good style. The switch backside 720 and alley-oop 540 might not get as much attention as, say, the frontside 1080, but they are very technical tricks because of the way they are being spun, and Bright is arguably the best at executing them.
After starting off on skis at a young age, Bright had a stint as an Alpine racer before she first tried snowboarding when she was 11. She made the decision to switch sports and had a quick rise, landing her first sponsorship within a year and turning pro at age 14.
At the 2010 Olympics, Bright landed a trick that no other woman had ever done in the halfpipe: a switch backside 720. Switch backside rotations are generally considered the most difficult of the four rotations and therefore aren't frequently seen in halfpipe runs, even in the men's contests. That trick helped Bright win the gold medal that year. Four years later, that same trick also helped Kaitlyn Farrington beat Bright for gold in Sochi.
Bright has competed sparingly in recent seasons. In the three years that followed the last Olympics, she participated in just three elite-level events. Prior to the 2017/18 season, her last contest was the Laax Open in January 2016. (She placed second behind Arielle Gold.) Outside of snowboarding, Bright got married in 2015.
Off the snow
When summer arrives, Bright can often be found trading in her snowboard for a surfboard and catching waves at spots all over the world.
Updated: December 06, 2017 03:31 PM
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