Torah Bright channels her fierce side, switches focus to snowboard cross
ROSA KHUTOR, Russia - Elated by her silver medal in the halfpipe, Australia's Torah Bright is looking for extra aggression as she gears up for Sunday's snowboard cross.
Unlike halfpipe and slopestyle competitions where athletes go one at a time, in the snowboard cross event, boarders race six at a time down a bumpy, twisting course. While racers can be disqualified for deliberate pushing, collisions are an occupational hazard.
"For me in slopestyle and in the halfpipe, it's very much my own game. But in the boardercross, once you make it through time trials and into rounds, it's you and five other really big babes," Bright told a news conference on Thursday.
"My first couple of races, when I made it through the rounds, it was extremely intimidating."
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: Australian snowboarder Torah Bright
While acknowledging she is a newcomer to the discipline, Bright says she had adjusted her technique and felt in her last few races that it was "all just clicking."
"It's just taken a bit of time to realize that I can stand my ground and 'this is my ground, and I'm going to keep my line, and I'm going to give you a run for your money,'" said the 27-year old with a broad smile.
"It's been character-building, I've had to channel the inner fierce Torah to come out."
The bold idea of taking on three snowboard events in Sochi was first suggested by her coach and brother, Ben.
Bright, the halfpipe champion from the Vancouver Games, overcame initial reluctance and over the past year put herself through a grueling qualification schedule.
Embedded video_content_type: Torah Bright cruises to slopestyle finals
After placing seventh in slopestyle, she was narrowly defeated for the halfpipe gold on Wednesday by American Kaitlyn Farrington.
But if she felt any trace of disappointment, she was not showing it.
"I really wanted to go out last night and boogie, I really did," she said.
Embedded video_content_type: Torah Bright takes home halfpipe silver
But with snowboard cross training starting on Friday, she resisted the temptation. While realizing she will be an outsider on Sunday, she is not ruling herself out of contention.
"The crazy thing is that you could be a medal hope in any sport, you could be world champion over and over and over and never get an Olympic medal because it comes down to one day every four years - and I feel so grateful that I've been able to make those two days in the last four years happen for me.
"In boardercross I'm a rookie, but I do know how to snowboard. And anything can happen in boardercross."
Best of Sochi