Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
United States' Kelly Clark competes in the women's snowboard half pipe qualifying at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Olympics: Snowboarder gives Sugar House another gold medal

Snowboarding » Farrington edges Bright for women’s halfpipe gold.

First Published Feb 12 2014 12:14 pm • Last Updated Feb 12 2014 10:46 pm

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia • Sugar House remains the world headquarters of women’s halfpipe snowboarding.

Salt Lake City’s quaint neighborhood can claim another Olympic gold medalist, thanks to Kaitlyn Farrington’s narrow victory over fellow resident Torah Bright and the rest of an elite field in Wednesday night’s event at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

They live only a couple of blocks apart, and Farrington and Bright — the defending champion, who competes for her native Australia — were barely separated on the scoreboard. They stood together in the finish area, awaiting the score for 2002 winner Kelly Clark of Vermont, already happy to know they were assured of medals.

"It doesn’t matter, the color of the medal," Bright said later. "We’re here united, as shredding babes."

Just the same, Farrington’s gold medal definitely justified her parents’ funding of her snowboarding career. She grew up on a cattle ranch in a small town near Sun Valley, Idaho, and weekly livestock auctions helped support her pursuit of the sport.

"I’m sure they do not miss those cows today," Farrington said, just before her parents, Gary and Suze, arrived at the medalists’ news conference. Her mother held a "Cowgirl Up" sign with Kaitlyn’s picture.

The ranching life and rodeo competition in her youth "definitely made me a tough girl," Farrington said.

In September, when she appeared at the Team USA Media Summit in Park City as a 2014 Olympic hopeful, Farrington said, "I never thought I’d be at the level I am today." And then she made the U.S. team by winning the final qualifying event.

Farrington, 24, initially moved to Salt Lake City to attend Westminster College. She left school after a semester, but stayed in town for the sake of accessibility to the halfpipe in Park City.

Bright’s sister, Rowena, became a University of Utah skier after competing for Australia in the 2002 Olympics. Bright soon joined her and has lived in Salt Lake City ever since.

story continues below
story continues below

As they stood together on the podium during the flower ceremony, Clark imagined the gold medal Farrington will receive Thursday and said, "Wow, we’ve all got one of these now."

And to complete the four-Olympiad cycle, 2006 gold medalist Hannah Teter of the United States finished fourth. The convergence of champions was remarkable, and so was the competition. Farrington trailed Teter after the first run, in a format that uses the best of two scores. Farrington improved to a 91.75 score in her second run, and held off Bright (91.5) and Clark (90.75), while Teter could not top her own 90.5 mark.

The gold medal is the third in snowboarding in these Games for the Park City-based U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association — even without a contribution from the celebrated Shaun White, who finished fourth in the men’s halfpipe event Tuesday. Jamie Anderson and Park City’s Sage Kostenburg won the women’s and men’s slopestyle events on a nearby course.

Clark’s bronze medal gives her a full set, earned over four Olympiads. Bright still has one more event to come, Monday’s snowboardcross competition.

"Wow, what a journey this has been," she said, having also competed in the slopestyle event.


Twitter: @tribkurt

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.