What's Up With This Olympic Freeskier's Bizarrely Bad Halfpipe Run?


'It is an honour to compete at the Olympics and I am really excited to compete among other awesome women from across the world.

Which leads us to her iconic and confusing Olympic run, where she basically just skied down the halfpipe.

Elizabeth Marian Swaney of Hungary competes during the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Ski Halfpipe Qualification on day 10 of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 19, 2018.

Elizabeth Swaney is the freestyle skier who began trending after not doing one trick in the halfpipe competition.

"I don't think I've ever been satisfied with my halfpipe runs, and I don't think a lot of skiers are", she said.

Her tentative approach was a striking contrast to that of Cassie Sharpe, the eventual gold medalist in the event, who, on her second qualifying run, hit back-to-back 900s and three full rotations for a 1080 jump.

Liz Swaney has become a hit at the Winter Olympics for a odd reason: she did no tricks whatsoever during her run in the half pipe skiing event! She tried nothing more than a basic alley-oop and her scores of 30.00 and 31.40 left her 13.60 points behind the next competitor, despite them slipping over twice.

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Most people make it to the Olympics because they are incredibly skilled in their respective sports and have put in insane amounts of time and effort. She often finished within the top 30 ― and thus met the qualifying cutoff ― because there weren't that many competitors.

The commentators reluctance to do anything but call the action likely stems from either shock on their part (it's possible they were in no way prepared for this), or because they didn't want to touch the somewhat-shady background to Swaney's Olympic appearance.

What's even more wonderful is that this wasn't a strategy by Swaney to play it safely to the finals - it's just what she does.

She told Reuters that she was "really disappointed" at not having qualified for Tuesday's final, but showed some pride in simply getting as far as she did, saying, "I worked really for several years to achieve this".

"I want to inspire others in Hungary and the world to become involved in freestyle skiing", she said, according to the Denver Post.

I'm not trying to be mean, but honestly the nicest thing that can be said about her run is that she didn't fall flat on her face.

"She added: "[People doubting me] actually motivates me to improve more. You have all inspired me, pushed me, and I have learned from you. Women's pipe skiing World Cups rarely see more than 30 competitors, so it's not hard to meet the Olympic requirement for a top-30 finish.