Torah Bright on record-setting Olympics: “It’s all about the journey”
Long before she arrived in Sochi, Torah Bright knew that the undertaking would be difficult, but the reward would be worth it.
“It’s all about the journey,” said Bright, following the completion of snowboard cross, her third event in only eight days at the Olympics — a feat that had never been done in Olympic snowboarding history.
Bright’s mission coming into the Games was to make such history, which she initially admitted may come at the cost of earning a medal in the one event in which she had a gold to defend – halfpipe. Fortunately for her, and her country of Australia, she rode out of that event with silver around her neck.
Embedded video_content_type: Torah Bright takes home halfpipe silver
“Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!” was the sound at the foot of all the events she competed in, as there was always a subset of support just for her. Of course, when Bright heard this, she always returned the native chant to show her appreciation.
Leading into the Games, Bright spoke to the challenges of the balancing act that was preparing for each of the three disciplines, saying, “there really just isn’t enough time, but I’m shredding more than I ever have and I’m loving snowboarding more than I ever have, so I’m going to keep on, keeping on.”
It’s only with an upbeat attitude (that leads to an ear-to-ear smile) like Bright’s that one could put in the amount of work she did – that and a little bit of love.
Bright’s first quest on the path to history was navigating the hazardous slopestyle course that had most riders shaking in their snowboard boots before the Games were even underway. Bright, however, pressed on and maintained that cheery outlook she is known for, dancing after each run.
“I think it’s awesome that we get to showcase another incredible part of snowboarding,” speaking about slopestyle, which also made snowboarding history with its inclusion into the Olympics for the first time ever.
Embedded video_content_type: Torah Bright cruises to slopestyle finals
However, running a brand new Olympic event created a new set of challenges for the coordinators of the sport with regard to whom they hired to build their “world-class” courses. The courses became a sore subject for the riders as the Games began to get underway, and Bright was included in this outspoken ourpouring from the athletes.
“We are the best in the biz here and the level of build just does not match the rider. That’s what happens when you don’t have the best in the world building these things,” she said.
Still, Bright always kept her smile about her and promised that she and the other riders would do their best, saying,“the Olympics will go on. We will put on a great show for the world — no matter what.”
This story, though, is not about the course builds; this one is all about Bright.
Bright finished 18th in snowboard cross. (Photo: Getty Images)
Whether it was around the slopestyle course, the halfpipe, the snowboard cross track or even on social media - in the form of the hashtag #TorahTime - support for the fun-loving, dedicated blonde beauty was very apparent, and the amount of respect she received from her fellow athletes was persistent.
“There’s been so many [athletes and coaches] that have helped me through, it’s been incredible. An incredible ride and I wouldn’t change anything,” she said.
She doesn’t need to change anything, either. Bright is regularly saying how she always rides for herself and “doesn’t care” about the judging or even the end result. This attitude epitomizes the original culture of her sport. Something everyone should take a note on.
“I do what I want to do and I’m going to go do it regardless of what anyone else pulls out,” said Bright prior to winning silver, simply reminding the world that this is all for herself and not for anyone else. “I’m just going to do my best. That’s all I do every day. [Winning a gold] would be beautiful, though. My country would love it.”
Embedded owg_slideshow: Model Olympian: Australian snowboarder Torah Bright
Bright truly is a carefree snowboarder, something clearly visible in the jubilation she shows in the corral after her runs and on the podium. But she is also a hard worker. Qualifying for three events is a feat in itself, but to do so and earn a medal in one, while proving she is competitive in the rest, is something that no other snowboarder has surmounted yet. The work that she put in before and during the Games was simply inspiring, but even more so was the attitude she maintained.
“It’s been a busy schedule, but what’s that cliché saying? It’s about the journey, not the destination and it’s been a hell of a ride for me, and I love it.”
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