If you took all the Winter Olympics athletes and stuck them in a classroom, the snowboarders would be the cool kids sitting up the back, tilted on two legs of their chair, flicking rubber bands at the nerds.
They are sport’s anti-athletes, the ones that go out of their way to look like they don’t give a stuff.
Where other athletes might listen to their iPods to relax before a big event, snowboarders have them plugged in during their competition runs.
For them, it’s all about the fun. They nail it, they smile. They stack it, they shrug their shoulders and smile. They complain about the halfpipe, they smile. They lose, they hug it out, shimmy and smile. They win, they just smile bigger.
I’m not sure if nonchalance is part of their training or if they’re just built that way. Certainly it doesn’t look like the sport attracts many Type A personalities. Any more chilled and you’d have trouble rounding them up for competition.
Fortunately, Aussies are born with laid-back in their veins. And we needed every ounce of it watching Torah Bright in the halfpipe. As did she.
Having sailed straight into the final with a big score of 93, the defending champ then reprised the first run of her Vancouver final four years ago and stacked it. And smiled.
So it was all or nothing in the second run and very nearly nothing after a dodgy landing on a cab seven — and no, I don’t have a clue what that is. Somehow she managed to stay on her feet and get the rest of her tricks in for a hard fought silver, just a quarter of a point out of the gold medal.
So after five days, Australia is on the board in 19th spot and Torah joins Dale Begg-Smith as our most decorated Winter Olympian.
History was made in the women’s downhill, where two competitors clocked exactly the same time — 1 minute, 41 seconds, 57 hundredths of a second (what are the chances?) — in a dead heat for gold.
And over at the ice rink the Ruskies made up for their disappointment in Vancouver, regaining the pairs figure skating crown they had held for 12 straight Olympics.
They said it
“I feel like I won… I’m definitely going to hit the dance floor tonight.” Torah Bright
“I’m the first woman to do a quad-twisting triple somersault, which is massive. I’ve left my mark on the sport forever.” Aussie aerialist Lydia Lassila pulls off an historic quad-twisting whatsie in training
“It’s a huge struggle for ski racers, finding a pair of jeans that fit right.” US skier Travis Ganong bears his soul in a heart wrenching New York Post article about going through life with big muscly thighs
“That race was about 400m too long for me.” Aussie Speedskater Daniel Greig tweets after his 1,000-metre event, in which he finished 22nd
“If she gets beaten, it’ll be because the others were better.” Well der, Channel 10 halfpipe commentator Michael Kennedy