Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Hungarian Freestyle Skier's Halfpipe Run Will Leave You Crying Of Laughter

Elizabeth Swaney during her halfpipe run. Credit PA Elizabeth Swaney during her halfpipe run. Credit PA
| 20 February, 2018, 20:52

She found a loophole where if she completed runs without falling, she could get enough points to qualify for the Olympic Games.

Spence added that there is some plan in the works to change the qualifying rules.

The answer is a bit complicated, but it involves a little dedication and lot of circumvention.

The lowest qualifying score was 72.80, several lightyears away, but the Californian Silicon Valley worker still said, "I didn't qualify for finals so I'm really disappointed", without a shred of irony after the event.

Because a few competitors pulled out of the Olympics with injury, because of limits on how many skiers from a single country can compete in the same event, and because of some arcane reallocation rules within the Hungarian ski federation created to balance men's and women's competitors, Swaney got to go do her fake run in Pyeongchang.

I was born during the summer Olympics, and kept a life of skating/rowing/skeleton Olympic dreams before learning to ski 8 years ago. It was a sequence she repeated a handful of times before capping her final trip with a pair of "alley oops", basically inward 180 degree turns more fitting for the local slopes than the world's largest sporting event.

"The field is not that deep in the women's pipe and she went to every World Cup, where there were only 24, 25, or 28 women", longtime judge Steele Spence told The Denver Post.

Credit PA
Credit PA

Even though Swaney finished in about the same position in each of the dozen events she competed across the globe over the last four years in the run-up to the Pyeongchang Games. It is all due to her knowing how to game the system. Here's more, via NBC.

It's a fascinating, if somewhat freakish, story: There were 24 women's ski halfpipe slots available for the 2018 Olympics, but each country only can send a maximum of four skiers. There have been no shortage of novelty acts at these Winter Olympics with cross country skiers from such Alpine hotbeds as Tonga, Columbia, Mexico and Morocco.

Hey, if you want to see really good skiers doing incredible things on the halfpipe, you can always just go re-watch Cassie Sharpe.

But, if you take an alternative perspective, Swaney's Olympic qualification can also be somewhat of an inspiration.

The 33-year-old athlete recorded scored of 30.00 and 31.40 during her two runs, which left commentators struggling for the words to describe her descent. She strategized and she executed.

Twelve years. This is a woman who apparently tried at least three sports-and according to some reports, three countries-in order to achieve her dream of participating in the Olympics.


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