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Bright eyes big Games challenge

7th January, 2014
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Torah Bright is quite prepared for it to all go horribly wrong.

Having won gold in the Vancouver Olympics halfpipe four years ago she figured there wasn’t much to prove anyway. And so did her brother and coach Ben.

Together the pair hatched a plan to do something no snowboarder has done at an Olympic Games – compete in three separate disciplines.

She’s already qualified for February’s Sochi Games in halfpipe and slopestyle – two events in which she can win medals – and will spend much of this month attempting to get over the line for snowboard cross.

“Benny’s whole mentality with doing these three events is that you may crash and burn in all three but it’s about becoming a better snowboarder and it’s about creating a better connection to your snowboard,” Bright says.

“Time on snow, no matter what you are doing, is invaluable. And it is proving to be right in my opinion.

“I’m spending that much time on my snowboard that I am more confident than ever as well.”

Bright says she’d rather an “oh well” than a “what if”.

To that end she’s not even hugely bothered if she doesn’t get to the starting gate for snowboard cross, a race-based event very different to the tricks and jumps seen in the ‘pipe and on a slopestyle course.

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Despite shooting across the globe from event to event and discipline to discipline Bright says she hasn’t bothered to calculate what results she needs to earn a start alongside the likes of compatriot Belle Brockhoff.

“That’s kind of not my job, that’s someone else’s job,” she says with a laugh.

“I’m the snowboarder, I’ll concentrate on that.”

Over the years that’s something she’s managed to do remarkably well.

Raised in Cooma in the NSW Snowy Mountains, Bright was originally a ski racer before turning to snowboarding.

She quickly became noticed.

Good judges said she wouldn’t have been out of place as a 15 year-old at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Four years on she was there in Turin, finishing fifth after what she felt was poor judging.

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Winning the World Super Pipe title for three consecutive years helped soften her Games experience and by 2010 she was one of the favourites in Vancouver.

But her path was far from smooth.

Two weeks before the Olympics she smashed her head in the Aspen halfpipe while training for the X Games.

It followed two other earlier knocks, the net result of which left her battered, with broken teeth and without a month’s training in the Olympic lead up.

Yet after a first run hiccup Bright went on to claim gold with the best run of the competition in her second attempt.

She may have expressed reservations about even going to Sochi given the bombing attacks in Russia but if Bright turns out for her third Games they could yet be her most successful.

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