Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news updates, access to exclusive contents, and more!
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - One skier who competed in the women's halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics really stood out – but not for her skills.
American Elizabeth Swaney, a member of Hungary's team who finished in last place Monday after a qualifying run that Deadspin described as "thoroughly average," apparently was able to game the Olympics' quota system to get to Pyeongchang. She also met another requirement – cracking the top 30 at a World Cup event – because many of those events featured fewer than 30 competitors.
“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,” International Ski Federation judge Steele Spence told the Denver Post. “She would compete in them consistently over the last couple years, and sometimes girls would crash so she would not end up dead last."
The 33-year-old from California was able to snag a spot on Hungary's team instead of the more competitive U.S. team because her grandparents are Hungarian, Deadspin reported. She also skied for Venezuela, where her mother is from, in World Cup events.
In Pyeongchang, Swaney didn't attempt any fancy tricks and finished last – but she didn't fall.
"It is an honor to compete at the Olympics, and I am really excited to compete among other amazing women from across the world," Swaney said, according to Reuters.
She added: "I hope this can be a platform to inspire others."