Born Skier Elizabeth Swaney Games System to Compete in 2018 Olympics

PYEONGCHANG-GUN SOUTH KOREA- FEBRUARY 19 Elizabeth Marian Swaney of Hungary competes during the Freestyle Skiing Ladies&apos Ski Halfpipe Qualification on day 10 of the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park

A quick look at her Instagram reveals Hungarians aren't exactly stoked on the whole ordeal, and some are even calling for her to repay the taxpayer-funded trip to South Korea. Instead, she didn't attempt a single trick, and it was all part of the plan.

Elizabeth Marian Swaney of Hungary competes during the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Ski Halfpipe Qualification on day 10 of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 19, 2018. "I worked really hard to come here and there are only 24 women in the world that could be in this final".

"I'm just trying to do the best for myself and represent Hungary as best as I can", she said just before her final practice on Sunday, the day before women's qualification in the Olympic halfpipe. She's self-funded her efforts, though online fundraisers have helped a little. For context, the next-lowest score that counted for a competitor was 45.00, the third-lowest was 56.60 and the lowest qualifying score was 72.80. She casually slides back and forth down the halfpipe, like she's on vacation in Aspen instead of competing against elite athletes. The answer lies in the fact that in a sport that lacks any depth globally, pretty much anybody could have qualified for a spot at the Games. It was a sequence she repeated a handful of times before capping her final trip with a pair of "alley oops", basically inward 180 degree turns more fitting for the local slopes than the world's largest sporting event. Swaney finished 13th out of 15 skiers in a World Cup event in China.

Speaking to the Denver Post, International Ski Federation judge Steele Spence mused "the field is not that deep in the women's pipe and she went to every World Cup, where there were only 24, 25, or 28 women".

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Even though Swaney finished in about the same position in each of the dozen events she competed across the globe over the last four years in the run-up to the Pyeongchang Games. This allowed her to qualify through the Olympic quota system, despite being unable to do any tricks. "Those things are in the works so technically you need to qualify up through the system".

According to Blevins, some of Swaney's competitors are less than enthused by her entrance in the Olympics. Some see it as a joke, others as an inspiration.

Some people think the Olympic spirit is about seeing sporting titans reach the pinnacle of their field, while for others it's about seeing athletes who are just happy to compete.

Elizabeth Swaney, an American, turned in one of the most insane Olympic performances today in the Freestyle Skiing event in Pyeonchang for Team Hungary.

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