Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics - Women’s Halfpipe Finals  » Sport  »
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  • They get two runs and the best individual scores win the medals
  • The second run would definitely tell the story

    • by Orrymain
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      Tonight was the finals for the Women’s Halfpipe event in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The women don’t do as big of turns as the guys do, but it is still exciting to watch. They get two runs and the best individual scores win the medals.

      I had to feel for Gretchen Bleiler of America. These athletes go through such routines before they actually take off to run the halfpipe. I watched her with the encouraging high fives at the top of the hill, and then she slid down to the starting position and sat there. Most stand. She sits and visualizes. You could see running through the program in her mind. She actually started off great, but ultimately, she wiped out on the first run.

      Kelly Clark did her singing routine before starting her run, which was


      a little shaky to me. She made her first few moves before wiping out, but even so, it was tentative and not as strong as she was in qualifying. Like Bleiler, it would be all about the second run.

      Australia’s Torah Bright doesn’t sit and envision or sing, she just smiles. I can’t help but wish her well. You have to like her. She just bubbles. She did that even after falling, twice, on her first one.

      So with the Americans poor performance in the first run, except for Hannah Teter, that is, the door was open for other countries, like China, to land a spot on the podium. The second run would definitely tell the story.

      Bright delivered the first routine to start off the second run. She was solid and one of the most exciting. It ...


      • landed her a score of 45, which is awesome (50 is the high). She did this 720 flip thing that was the most complicated looking maneuver, one of the more exciting ones that I’ve seen the women do. Like before, she pretty much just starts her run without a lot of fanfare.

        Bleiler had a spectacular run going until right at the end, she landed on the deck of the halfpipe and really took a scary fall down, sliding down the rest of the pipe. She got up with a smile, though. It’s so devastating, though, because up until then, her tricks were dynamic. Had she finished clean, I’m sure she would have received a medal, maybe even the gold.

        America’s Elena Hight wiped out as well and very early. Maybe these folks are reaching too far. I

        understand going for it all, but you have to make sure you don’t take yourself out of the running. I liken it to figure skaters going for the quad and falling all over the rink. To me, it’s senseless.

        Clark sang her way to a solid second run at least. I loved her last move, which was a 900. She gave herself a chance to be on the podium with that performance and in fact, got the bronze.

        So, in the end, Bright shone with her gold, Hannah Teter grabbed the silver, and Clark got the bronze. With the failure of the other American women, China’s Jiayu Liu and France’s Sophie Rodriguez had the fourth and fifth positions, which was quite a fete for them.

        An exciting and yet disappointing event for the Americans, but for the viewer, still fun to watch.




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