Torah Bright


Sep 24, 2010
Outside Magazine
Torah Bright

Olympic Snowboarder Torah Bright    Photo: Jeff Lipsky

A new generation of female athletes is taking on the world.
Torah Bright
It's been a good year, to say the least, for Bright: She got married in June, served as her native Australia's flag bearer during the opening ceremony at the Olympics, and, despite suffering two concussions during mid-season practice sessions, came home with a gold medal in the halfpipe. Her winning run in Vancouver was one for the ages, punctuated by a switch backside 720, a contortionist's move with a blind landing that confounds most top snowboarders. She nailed it after falling hard during her previous run. "After my crash, the first thing I thought was 'Oh, well, that's that,'" the 23-year-old says nonchalantly. "But then I remembered it's only one run that counts." Bright grew up skiing with her parents in New South Wales's Snowy Mountains, strapping her feet to a snowboard for the first time when she was 11. Since turning pro in 2000, at age 14, she's won a steady stream of major competitions, including the X Games superpipe in 2007 and 2009. A perfectionist on snow, Bright now calls Salt Lake City, Utah, home, in part because she can take advantage of the Northern Hemisphere's bigger snowfalls. "I can always get better," she says. This winter, she's determined to get more time on her board off the halfpipe. "I still love to compete," she says, "but I didn't get a single powder day in last year. When I'm done with snowboarding, I want to be known as a great rider, not just a halfpipe competitor."

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