Winter Olympics: Why did Elizabeth Swaney run the halfpipe without tricks?

Watch Skier Doesn't Attempt Any Tricks During Halfpipe RunMore

Watch Skier Doesn't Attempt Any Tricks During Halfpipe RunMore

Swaney's single trick was a wild 180 spin right at the end of her run, which saw her record scores of 30.00 and 31.40 and fall an absolute short of the final.

"The field is not that deep in the women's pipe and she went to every world cup, where there were only 24, 25, or 28 women", FIS halfpipe and slopestyle judge Steele Spence said, per the Denver Post.

Swaney was born and raised in the United States but qualified to represent Hungary through her maternal grandparents.

Swaney scored a 30 out of 100 on that run and finished dead last in qualifying, which isn't surprising to anyone - except Swaney, apparently. She never got any air and her tricks were limited to a couple of 360s.

Despite showing only the most basic level of skill in the event, Swaney said she was "really disappointed" by not qualifying for the final. She only started skiing eight years ago and only got serious about it after the skeleton thing didn't take. Women's pipe skiing World Cups rarely see more than 30 competitors, so it's not hard to meet the Olympic requirement for a top-30 finish.

There have been some emotional stories emerging from this years tournament - particularly that of the disappointment faced by British speed skater Elise Christie who crashed out of two of her events and was disqualified from the third - but it's not all doom and gloom. The mere fact that Swaney, who is still in Korea, took the time to update her profile picture to show her as an Olympian, tells me something. And this held true for most of the skiers, except for Hungary's Elizabeth Swaney. So how, at age 33 no less, did she manage to make her way into the field at that event in the Winter Games?

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Sharpe, who will go last in the finals and revels in pushing the boundaries each time she drops in, isn't sure being competitive should matter.

"I'm a pretty open-minded person", said France's Marie Martinod, a silver medalist in halfpipe in Sochi four years ago. In order to help her get to the Olympics, Elizabeth used a crowd-funding site RallyMe to help raise the necessary funds, and she received $367 from eight donors.

Due to a combination of injuries, limits on how many athletes can qualify from one country, and a Hungarian team rule that reallocates some spots on the Olympic team to balance the number of men and women, Swaney made it.

She also told the Denver Post her motivations were pure and that she hopes to inspire other skiers.

But guess what she can say? Yet she can forever refer to herself as an Olympic athlete. Plenty of other skiers who just missed the cut and are forced to watch from home likely aren't amused, either.

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