Skier performs zero tricks to finish last in halfpipe

Wednesday, 21 Feb, 2018

Elizabeth Swaney, 33, completed most of the course by doing only the smallest of jumps. Her strategy can be boiled down to this: She doesn't fall. Swaney's runs, which involve no tricks, are not intimidating.

The halfpipe is judged on a 100 point scale and the plucky American did relatively well with her score of 31.40.

"I didn't qualify for the finals, so I'm really disappointed with that", Swaney said.

By attending enough events, she moved up the rankings and owing to her "Hungarian nationality" managed to qualify to take part in Pyeongchang.

France's Marie Martinod, who qualified in second, said she had no ill-feelings towards Swaney for her participation.

But she could be the first and last to exploit the qualification system in such a way.

Yet here she was with a number on her back representing Hungary - via her grandparents - in the women's halfpipe freestyle competition.

Despite finishing dead last, Swaney told Reuters it was "an honour to compete at the Olympics", and that she was "really excited to compete among other awesome women from across the world". "Those things are in the works so technically you need to qualify up through the system".

Through a shuffling in country quotas - where some countries didn't use all their spots and other country's bowed out due to athlete injuries - Hungary and Swaney made the cut.

Her first run "featured" five straight airs, an alley-oop 180 and then another straight air - the sort of run that you might see from a weekend warrior at your local ski resort's halfpipe.

The rules might be dated and freaky, but this woman qualified by the book. She makes the sport look approachable. She's hardly a new skier on the scene.

As it turns out, Swaney has set lofty goals for herself before.

Swaney, a Harvard graduate who ran against Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor of California, according to Tarrant, did not come close to winning in Pyeongchang.

She didn't clear the lip of the halfpipe.

But don't expect this type of thing to happen regularly, says Spence.

It may not be possible to catch all the best moments in a single day of the Olympic Games, but we're going to try. On top of that, countries can only send four competitors each.

"If you put in the time and put in the effort to be here", said Sharpe, "you have as much of a right to be here as I do". "I'm here to race for myself only". The United States women's bobsled team told her that she was too small to be a bobsledder, but that it was impressed by her athletic background. "However, when we are in the starting gate, only our individual race and our own performance are important". Just totally played it safe. Why?

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Even when that something is trying to get a date with an Olympian.

Some people think the Olympic spirit is about seeing sporting titans reach the pinnacle of their field, while for others it's about seeing athletes who are just happy to compete.

No word yet from Rippon.

His mom was fully on board.