Aussie snowboard star Bright out of winter team
Issued on: Modified:
Triple Olympian Torah Bright was left out of Australia's winter team Thursday, as officials said they had selected their "best performed" line-up for the Pyeongchang Games.
The 45-strong group is smaller than the team selected for Sochi four years ago, but will feature athletes who have won 54 individual World Cup medals and five World Championship podiums in the past 18 months between them.
Australia will compete in alpine skiing, bobsleigh, cross country skiing, figure skating, freestyle skiing, luge, short track speed skating, skeleton, snowboard and speed skating events.
"This is the best performed team that we've taken to an Olympic Games with a large number of athletes who have established that they are amongst the very best in their sports globally," said chef de mission Ian Chesterman, who is attending his sixth Games.
Three-time Olympian Bright, who won gold in Vancouver 2010 and silver at Sochi in the snowboard halfpipe, was absent from the team after falling short of qualifying requirements during World Cup events in the lead-up to selection.
She was also reportedly struggling with a wrist injury.
"Cheering from the sidelines sadly after sustaining a few injuries I will not be able to compete at the upcoming Olympics," Bright tweeted Thursday.
"Life is full of little setbacks but I'm excited about what lies ahead. Continuing to push the boundaries with snowboarding and inspiring projects."
Top returning Olympians include dual medallist Lydia Lassila, who will take part in her fifth Games, Holly Crawford (snowboard halfpipe) for her fourth and reigning world champions Britt Cox (moguls) and Scotty James (snowboard halfpipe) for their third.
"I never dreamed of going to five Olympics or having a career this long," said 36-year-old Lassila, who will compete in aerials skiing.
"I've learned so much about myself, endured setbacks and celebrated the victories. I love my sport, I love my country and that’s what has kept me coming back."
The highly credentialed team could seek to top Australia's highest winter medal tally of two gold and one silver, which was set in Vancouver.
The team returned from Sochi with two silvers and one bronze.
© 2018 AFP