The run that Elizabeth Swaney put down on the halfpipe at the Olympics is being described as "laconic," "boring," and some are even saying it's a prank. It was certainly the least interesting of all the competitors. So how did such an average skier get into the Olympics?
Well, she gamed the system.
She's an American, but knowing that she would never qualify for the American team she used her Grandparent's heritage to ski for the Hungarian team. She chose an event, women's halfpipe skiing, where the field of participants is not that deep. In order to qualify, she had to place in the top 30 at World Cup events, so she flew around the world to different events where sometimes only 24, or 25 women competed, and then depended on some competitors crashing so she wouldn't come in last place. Her strategy was "show up and stay upright."
And it worked. She qualified for the Olympics. She skiied in the Olympics, and she is now, in fact, an Olympian despite being as an average a skier as you could find on any snow drift.
Watching the run and hearing the story, a part of me feels a little cheated. That's not what I expect when I watch the Olympics. At the same time? It's kinda funny, and no matter what, I have to admire the girls tenacity.
Read more about how she pulled off this Olympic sized feat here: