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Skier performs zero tricks to finish last in halfpipe

Elizabeth Marian Swaney of Hungary competes during the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Ski Halfpipe.(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
19th February, 2018
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American skier Elizabeth Swaney made a mockery of the women’s halfpipe by performing zero tricks on her way to a last-placed finish.

Swaney, 33, who competed for her grandparents’ native Hungary delivered one of the most mediocre performances in Winter Olympic history as commentators struggled to find words for what they witnessed.

While there was no chance of Swaney ruining either of her runs by crashing out of contention, her two efforts left her with scores of 30.00 and 31.40.

She was 13.60 points behind the next competitor and a distant 30 points shy of making the final of the event.

Despite the lacklustre performance, Swaney was disappointed to not make the finals.

“I didn’t qualify for the finals, so I’m really disappointed with that. But I worked really for several years to achieve this,” she said.

“I have been focussing on my Olympic experience but also on the halfpipe here and trying to go higher each time and getting more spins in.”

After 13 world cup events and some top-30 finishes (to be fair, most had less than 30 competitors), she managed to qualify for the Olympics.

The qualification system relies on a country’s quota of athletes and those athletes having a minimum number of top-30 finishes in World Cup events.

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Swaney made those minimum requirements and therefore was able to compete in PyeongChang, but rules are likely to be changed before the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, according to head judge Philippe Belanger.

“In that case you are going to need a better placement in each world cup, to not just make it to the Games but to stay on the world cup circuit.”