Thursday, February 18, 2010
Bright wins women's halfpipe gold
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Torah Bright brought a glint of sanity to a messy night on the halfpipe. She walked away with -- what else? -- a shiny, Olympic gold medal.
Under pressure after falling on her first run Thursday night, the Aussie strung five technically superior jumps together on her second attempt and landed them all for the perfect capper to a four-year ride full of injuries, experiments and, ultimately, victory.
She scored 45 points to defeat defending champion Hannah Teter by 2.6. The 2002 champion, Kelly Clark, fell on her first run, hit the deck on an awkward landing on her second but still took bronze.
Bright, the 23-year-old originally from Cooma, Australia, won without trying the double-flipping jump she'd been practicing all year, one that's increasingly popular on the men's side but hasn't yet been tried by a woman in competition.
But she wasn't looking to make history -- only to win gold, and she was more than good enough to do that on a night when all the top contenders fell.