As Cooma’s Torah Bright danced and shimmied her way onto the podium after winning silver in the women’s half pipe at the Sochi Winter Olympics on Thursday morning, across the other side of the world in her hometown Cooma, her family was also dancing with joy.
Torah’s parents Marion and Peter Bright watched their daughter compete from their Cooma home, which was broadcast at 4.30am AEST.
“My word we did [watch it],” Mrs Bright said.
“Torah said to me to do the dance-a-thon thing. So I danced the finals away.”
“Now I’ve just been on the phone with her, and I’m just dancing the day away.”
Mrs Bright was referring to the dance off competition started on the internet by Torah’s sister Rowena.
Rowena was encouraging fans to send in videos of their best dance in support of Torah for a chance to win a signed piece of Torah’s Olympic uniform.
The Vancouver 2010 gold medallist fell on her first run, missing her landing on a frontside 540 but she headed back up the hill and did the job second time round.
“After the first run I was like ‘really? I did this again to my family and my friends watching, I put them through the wringer again, why?’” Bright said, referring to her similar ride at the Olympics four years ago.
The always-smiling athlete was composed and performed strongly on her second run, scoring 91.50.
She finished just 0.25 points behind American Kaitlyn Farrington who scored 91.75 with her second run. The bronze went to Torino 2002 champion and pre-event favourite Kelly Clark (USA) who nailed the last run of the competition (90.75) after falling heavily on her first run.
Watching from Cooma, Marion said there was a whole gamut of emotions watching her daughter try to defend her 2010 half-pipe gold medal.
Nervousness, gratitude, tenseness and shocked were some of the words she used to describe her emotions on Thursday morning.
She has had a busy morning, with just one and a half hours sleep and the phone running off the hook, but managing to speak with her daughter twice.
“She is absolutely exhausted. It’s 3am over there now,” Mrs Bright said.
“She was relieved that she could put that down.”
Torah will now prepare for her third and final event, the boarder cross.
After the Olympics, Mrs Bright said Torah would make a visit home some time in March.