The Olympics are a time when the top tier athletes from all over the world come together to compete. The news stories start coming out about how each athlete has trained and sacrificed so much to make it to the Games. It’s rare when there is an Olympic athlete who has put in zero effort to get to the Winter Games, but Elizabeth Swaney, 33, has worked smarter not harder to reach her dream.
U.S. born skier Swaney grew up in California and always dreamed of being in the Olympics and started skiing in 2013. She knew that she would never be good enough to be on the U.S. Olympic Team so she went out for the Hungarian team. Her grandparents are from Hungary.
Despite not being an elite skier let alone halfpipe freestyle skier, Swaney made it to the 2018 Winter Olympics, but how? There were 24 spots for the event, but that doesn’t mean they go to the 24 best freestyle halfpipe skiers.
NBC explained that each country has a quota of athletes that they can send for each event. When countries don’t send their max amount of skiers less experienced skiers get invited like Swaney did. Swaney also met all the Olympic qualifications shockingly enough. Skiers just need to finish in the top 30 at a World Cup event and have a minimum number of International Ski Federation points.
During those competitions, which rarely had over 30 competitors, she would do a simple run and not crash. Swaney staying upright and giving a clean but simple run had her beating out athletes who fell trying to do complicated tricks.
Which leads us to her iconic and confusing Olympic run, where she basically just skied down the halfpipe.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) February 20, 2018
Swaney kept with her simply is best and don’t crash philosophy despite being on the grandest stage in sports. The Harvard graduate doesn’t care what the critics think she completed a dream of hers, making it to the Olympics and competing.
This isn’t the first thing Swaney has competed for despite her lack of experience. When she was 19 she ran for Governor of California against Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After her two runs, her the highest score was 31.4. Swaney didn’t qualify for the finals. She told Reuters,”I didn’t qualify for the finals, so I‘m really disappointed with that. But I worked really for several years to achieve this.”