There was never much doubt about where Torah Bright was heading in sport. She was on skis at the age of two, snowboarding at 11, and had turned professional by the time she was 14. From there her trajectory to the podium at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, clutching a shiny gold medal, seemed almost ordained.
Bright made her first major impact, aged 16, as runner-up for the World Cup title in 2003. Her innovative halfpipe runs and ability to master any terrain quickly established her as a dynamic competitor on the snowboarding circuit. In 2004 she won the halfpipe at the FIS World Cup in Torino, followed by victories in Norway and Japan in 2005. In 2006, when she finished fifth at the Torino Winter Olympics, she had three wins on the circuit, including the US Open.
Among her achievements: three times world super-pipe champion (2006, 2007 and 2008); three times Nippon Open winner (2005, 2007, 2008); three times winner US Open champion (2006, 2008, 2009); overall winner of the 2007 Burton global open series; winner of the 2007 TTR women’s world tour; twice winner of the winter X-Games title (2007, 2009). She also won gold and a World Cup title in 2009 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
In 2010 she carried the Australian flag in the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and qualified first for the women’s snowboard final. She crashed on the first of her two runs, but leapt into first place on the second with a series of gravity-defying tricks, culminating in a switch backside 720 - a double spinning manoeuvre performed by no other woman. Her parents, who had strapped her on their backs as an infant during snow-country expeditions, were watching. So too was her elder sister Rowena who competed in alpine skiing at the Olympics in 2002.
AOC Official Historian