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Australia's Torah Bright seventh in women's slopestyle final, American Jamie Anderson claims gold

Torah Bright stood atop the slope style course, and tapped her heart twice. "My heart chakras," as she calls them.

She then peeled off two runs that were good but not quite good enough.

That the 27-year-old snowboarder failed to win a medal in the women's slopestyle final at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, finishing seventh, seemed inconsequential.

Apart from being her least-favoured discipline - and she remains one of the favourites when she defends her halfpipe Olympic title on Wednesday - Bright was competing while mourning a sad death.

She carried a heavy heart into Sunday afternoon's final, having revealed just after the opening ceremony on Friday night that two of her close friends had lost a child.


"My dear friends lost their first born yesterday," she revealed on Facebook. "Neena and Andy your strength overwhelms me. More than anything, I wish I was there with you, to support you in love, as you have done for me through my own hardships. I will draw from your strength and do what I need to do. With an aching heart, I board. For your beautiful, Indira."

She would not elaborate on the death after the final, but suggested that withdrawing from the slopestye event might've been a possibility.

"There are more things to life than snowboarding and, to me, those relationships mean more than anything," she said. "It was really hard for me to be over here. And I just had to get myself in a good place and tapping the heart chakras was every much a part of that. I came to the conclusion that I need to be a strength for them and I was going to give them joy by trying my little heart out."

Considered a warm chance of claiming a medal - and Australia's first in Sochi - after qualifying fourth, Bright touched down with her hand on the first jump on both of her runs.

She scored 64.75 and was ranked sixth heading into the second round, but could only score 66.25.

American Jamie Anderson stormed to victory with a massive score of 95.25 on her second run, snatching victory from Finland's Enni Rukajarvi and Great Britain's Jenny Jones.

Bright is the only snowboarder, male or female, competing in the three disciplines of slopestyle, halfpipe and boardercross.

She directs her attention to the halfpipe, and said her performance in the slope style had given her confidence as she attempts to defend her title won in Vancouver four year ago.

"I'm in good nick, still smiling, and love snowboarding," she said. "We had our first day on halfpipe yesterday, and now I am in training. I was feeling great today. The 'cab 900' (trick) was something new to me. I had a great feel on my snowboard. (Her coach and brother) Benny up the top was like, 'Wow. You really pick things up quick'. I was doing them in training. It's relatively new for me. I was really quite pumped, to come out and had another little trick."

These have been an emotional Olympics for Bright.

She has previously declared she was riding in Sochi in honour of her late friend Sarah Burke, a Canadian freestyle skier who died in January 2012 after she hit her head on the super pipe at Park City, Utah.

Bright was also a vocal critic of the slopestyle course in the lead-up to the games, attracting headlines.

"I still stand by my comments," she said. "It could be better and these are the Olympic Games."

Asked if there had been modifications, she said: "Yes, of course they did. There were open forums for all the riders. It's history now, all of that. But I stand by my words. The level of builder in the freestyle events does not match the rider. I'm not whinging. It's just the way it is."


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