Pull out of slopestyle? No way!, says Bright

Thu Feb 6, 2014 8:22am EST
 
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By Nick Mulvenney

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Torah Bright took the first step in her unprecedented quest to compete in all three Olympic snowboarding events on Thursday and laughed off suggestions she might cut down on her commitments to improve her medal chances.

The 27-year-old Australian was all beaming smiles and giggles after nailing a brilliant first run in the slopestyle heats to secure her place in the final of the newest event in the Olympic schedule.

Like Shaun White, Bright is a bona fide X-Games star and the defending Olympic halfpipe champion but there was simply no question that she might follow the lead of her American friend, who pulled out of the slopestyle because of safety concerns.

"No way! I'm doing three events and I'm going to have a great time," Bright, who will also compete in snowboard cross, told reporters.

"(It's) one day at a time for me, I'm halfway through one of the events and two more to go.

"I have to say I totally respect Shaun's decision because it's about him, it's not about the media, it's not about the Olympics, it's about him wanting to be his best and deciding what to do. So respect."

Bright's intention to "have a great time" in Sochi is born of her experience in Vancouver four years ago, where she suffered a string of concussions trying to perfect more and more complicated tricks in pre-Games training.

That almost ended her hopes of competing in her second Olympics altogether and, lesson learned, she has arrived in Russia with a more carefree attitude.   Continued...

 
Australia's Torah Bright reacts at the finish line during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifying session at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake