Australian Torah Bright delivered a gutsy performance to win the Olympic women's halfpipe title on Thursday before bursting into tears when she spotted her parents.
Bright, who went from last to first by pulling off a difficult twirling series of tricks to win Australia's first gold of the Games, said her parents had secretly travelled from her hometown of Cooma to watch her.
It wasn't until I finished my second run that my brother pointed them out. I just burst into tears, I had no idea, said Bright, who had tears streaming down her face as she waited at the bottom of the halfpipe to find out if she had won a medal.
I don't know when they got in. I was over at the house that we have yesterday and they weren't there. But I found out that they were hiding in a closet when I was there, so I wouldn't see them, she told reporters.
Bright thrilled the flag-waving Australians in the crowd when she landed one of the hardest tricks done by women on her second run for a high score of 45.
The Australian, who has just recovered from a concussion and is the only woman to have landed some of the sport's toughest tricks performed mainly by men, fell twice on her first run as she attempted to increase the degree of difficulty with a move that could ensure her a medal.
But she came back in her second run and tried the same move again, this time landing it cleanly. She also pulled off a difficult series of multiple twisting moves as she soared high above the 22-foot halfpipe.
It's not the end of the world that I fell. It happens. So I just kind of put it behind me, she said. I knew what I was going to do, I've done it all before so I just had to go and have some fun with it.
But once she was done with her run, Bright had an agonizing wait as the other 10 women went down the course one at a time. It was not until the final run of American Hannah Teter that Bright knew she had won.
Defending gold medalist Teter, the only one of the top four women who did not fall in her first run, flew high and performed multiple twisting moves but finished second after failing to improve on her 42.4 points in the first run.
Torah's run was super motivating. I just didn't catch her tonight -- she was on fire, Teter said.
Teter's team mate Kelly Clark, the 2002 gold medalist, took the bronze.