Winter Olympics

Elizabeth Swaney put in a bizarre performance in the women's halfpipe.

How the skier that couldn't ski competed at the Winter Olympics

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Football News
24/7

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea are into their final week and there has been no shortage of spectacular action and skill on show.

Elizabeth Swaney, an American skier competing for Hungary, has provided one of the most memorable moments of the Games so far, though, and for the most unusual reasons.

The Harvard Graduate, who works as a software engineer in Silicon Valley, is eligible to represent Hungary through her grandparents and has previously competed on behalf of Venezuela.

Swaney, 33, came dead last in the women's halfpipe as she put in one of the most uninspiring skiing performances that you will ever see.

From the moment that she cautiously made her way down from the top of of the slope to the start line, the American put in a baffling performance that left viewers scratching their heads in disbelief at how she had made it to an Olympic Games with a non-existent skill set.

Unlike her fellow competitors, she offered no skill moves or combinations, instead sauntering down the slope and barely lifting off the snow.

It seems that Swaney cleverly used the rules, and a lack of competition, to reach the Games.

International Ski Federation halfpipe and slopestyle judge Steele Spence told The Denver Post that Swaney reached the Olympics thanks in large part to a shortage of competitors and her consistency in attending events.

The 33-year-old has regularly registered top-30 finishes in World Cup events simply because there weren't 30 competitors in the field.

Freestyle Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 10

And by skiing safe to ensure that she did not fall over, Swaney often came ahead of fellow-competitors who tried riskier moves and fell. 

"Sometimes girls would crash so she would not end up dead last," Spence told the newspaper.

While many on social media have viewed Swaney's Olympic qualification and participation as a mockery of the sport and the Games, some fellow professionals voiced their support for her efforts.

"If you are going to put in the time and effort to be here, then you deserve to be here as much as I do," Canadian Cassie Sharpe told Reuters.

Philippe Belanger, the head judge in Pyeonchang, told The Denver Post that the International Ski Federation is considering shrinking the number of Olympic qualifying spots in the event moving forward.

Swaney's cunning plan may have seen its last Olympic games!

Topics:
Winter Olympics
Team USA Olympics
Winter Sports

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