Now that the dust – or should we say powder – has settled on Torah Bright’s eventful Sochi sojourn, Australia’s most successful female winter Olympian has returned to her roots.
The gold and silver medal-winning snowboarder, announced on Friday as the new face of Thredbo, will spend the rest of the ski season as an on-site ambassador for the resort.
The move couldn’t have had better timing for Bright, who took up the post just two days before the birth of a new nephew in the Bright family’s hometown of Cooma.“It’s the best time to come home,” says Bright, 27. “My little sister Abish and baby Oliver were kind enough to wait until I got here!”
Bright, who stirred controversy at the Winter Olympics with her blunt comments about the quality of the courses, is relishing a break from competing and the chance to entice first-timers to the snow.
“Can you believe one in five Australians have never seen the snow?” she says, quoting a report commissioned by Thredbo that also reveals 60 per cent have never skied or snowboarded.
“I’m passionate about sharing the spirit of snowboarding,” she says. “I’ll be here playing all through the season – which is one of the best we’ve ever had. I want to get everyone down here to experience it. Come shred with me!”
Bright is also writing an autobiography, due out at the end of the year. She can’t say whether the book will detail her brief, failed marriage to fellow snowboarder Jake Welch but it’s certain to cover her unconventional Mormon upbringing and hard-won rise to glory.
As for the Sochi stoushes, she remains unrepentant. “I only have opinions on things I’m educated in. And when it comes to snowboarding, I have a PhD,” she says.