Bright was the defending champion coming into the competition and wowed through to the final with the second highest score in the heats.
After crashing in the first run though it all came down to second and final effort – the Aussie nailed it but the judges didn’t agree that it was better than American Kaitlyn Farrington, who took gold, while Bright’s close rival and another US athlete Kelly Clark took bronze.
Farrington’s 91.75 was a quarter of a point ahead of Bright’s 91.50 with her second run, after ranking second after the first run. Another US boarder, Hannah Teter finished fourth.
Backing up commentators praise of her as an athlete as nice as she is talented, she was gracious in defeat and grateful for her medal.
“Well, I really don’t care because that happens in judged sports,” she said with a grin.
“It was kind of awesome to hear from my fellow shredders that are now here doing TV work. They were like ‘maybe you should have won’.
“But I don’t care the colour of the medal, life isn’t about winning. It’s about putting your best foot forward, it’s about sharing your light and I’m happy, I’m so happy to be here.”
Bright had openly criticised the quality of the pipe in the lead-up to the final and had to recover from a bad crash in training.
After the criticism, she said it was “perhaps one of the hardest events I’ve ridden in in a long time”. When asked why she pointed to the facility.
“It’s the Olympics and the show will go down no matter what, but I think with all the riders being very unimpressed by the jumps and halfpipe, we need to take a stand,” she said.
The 27-year-old is now the most successful female Australian Winter Olympian, surpassing aerial skier Alisa Camplin who won gold and bronze in her event, and the equal best of any sex levelling Dale Begg-Smith’s tally.
She’s a chance to medal again in her third event of the Games – the first time anyone’s done it – when she contests the snowboard cross on Sunday.
“I am so so excited about boarder cross, I am race ready!” she said.
Images via Getty