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Olympic Skier Elizabeth Swaney Does No Tricks And People Are Loving It

Elizabeth Swaney is your new favorite Olympic skier. Trust me.

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Halfpipe skiing is one of the newest winter Olympic events, featuring high-flying spins, flips, and tricks. Here's a gold-medal run from 2014 by Maddie Bowman, for reference:

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Pretty amazing, right?

Now, if you've ever wondered what the "average person" would look like trying this event, look no further than Elizabeth Swaney's Olympic halfpipe ski run this week in Pyeongchang:

How freeskier Elizabeth Swaney made it to the #WinterOlympics with this very simple halfpipe run:…

Swaney is an American skiing for Hungary, and managed to place on the team thanks to a combination of factors.

Instagram: @lizswaney

Basically, since women's halfpipe skiing is a fairly new event, there tend to be very few athletes competing in the World Cup to qualify. Generally the top 30 will earn a spot at the Olympics, and — as halfpipe judge Steele Spence told the Denver Post — Swaney was up against only 25 to 28 other women at World Cup events.


Swaney's runs contain essentially no tricks, which allows her to consistently complete runs without falling.

Instagram: @lizswaney

That consistency is key: Swaney managed to qualify for the Olympics by attending every World Cup event she could and playing it safe with her trick-free runs.

People are loving the 33-year-old's approach to the sport, calling her a "true Olympic hero."

Eine wahre Olympia-Heldin. 💪👍😄 #swaney #pyeongchang2018 #freeskiing

Others are just loving how the commentators are politely calling her runs with the same sincerity as they would for any other competitor.

@TMortimerFtbl I like how there were highlights at the end in case anyone missed her stunning tricks

Comedian Rob Delaney is simply amused.

This is so fucking funny. She’s so utterly normal at it; just so *unremarkable.* That she’s not “funny” bad makes i…

However, some wonder if Swaney is "gaming the system."

Inspiration or gaming the system? Elizabeth Swaney, an American skiing for #TeamHungary, delivers average-skier per…

In fact, Swaney's Olympic qualification after just eight years of skiing might even cause changes to qualification requirements.

Instagram: @lizswaney

Philippe Belanger, the head judge for freeskiing events at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, told the Denver Post that athletes might need to earn more points in the future to qualify, requiring more jumps and tricks as opposed to just not falling down.

But you know what? I say that Elizabeth Swaney gives hope and inspiration to all of us who have a dream and determination, but aren't athletic demigods who started training at age 4.

Instagram: @lizswaney

Good luck in Pyeongchang, Elizabeth!