Torah not looking on the bright side

YOU could say that Torah Bright's mind has not been on the job ahead of the defence of her half-pipe title she won in Vancouver four years ago.

Bright's attempt to win back-to-back Winter Olympic gold starts tonight.

But, after crashing in training yesterday, the face of Australian winter sports was again taking a swipe at organisers as she did ahead of Sunday's slopestyle event when she finished out of the medals in seventh place.

Bright was once more critical of the course in her favourite event, claiming the half-pipe was too narrow to pull off the tricks people wanted to see.

"It's brutal, and all you can do is kinda laugh in there," Bright told Network Ten.

Asked if it was up to standard, she replied: "No, definitely not. The people who are constructing the pipe aren't the greatest at their craft and it makes it challenging for us.

"No one is able to ride their best today. We've had two days of training and you can't even link a run."

The Olympic champion from Cooma, New South Wales, is not the only athlete questioning the standard of the half-pipe course, with several members of the US team also making complaints.

Danny Davis, one of the favourites to win the men's competition, along with superstar compatriot Shaun White, said: "It's not very good. It needs a lot of work because they hired the wrong folks to do it."

Bright too has had a run-in with authorities after her tribute to Canadian snowboarder Sarah Burke, who died in a training crash in Park City, Utah in 2012, was not allowed.

While the International Olympic Committee said athletes could wear tape on their boot straps with Burke's name, a sticker on Bright's helmet was deemed too visible.

Bright protested by posting on Instagram: "I ride with a Sarah sticker on my snowboard and helmet always. The IOC, however, consider Sarah stickers 'a political statement' and have banned them. WOW. Sarah is a beautiful, talented, powerful woman, whose spirit inspires me still. She is a big reason why skier pipe/slope are now Olympic events."

Bright should still be regarded as favourite to defend her Olympic crown as long as she can focus on the event and not all the problems leading up to it.

Fellow Aussies Holly Crawford, Stephanie Magiros and Hannah Trigger will also be going for medals in the half-pipe, while WA teen Greta Small takes on the women's downhill.

AUSSIES IN ACTION

  • Women's downhill: Greta Small
  • Women's half-pipe: Torah Bright, Holly Crawford, Steph Magiros, Hannah Trigger
  • Men's 1000m speedskating: Daniel Greig


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