By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 18 - Torah Bright (pictured) won Australia's first gold medal of the Olympics here when she ended the United States domination of the women's halfpipe event.

Bright's score of 45.00 points was enough to beat Turin 2006 champion Hannah Teter's 42.4 and her US teammate and Salt Lake City 2002 gold medallist Kelly Clark, who posted 42.2.

Bright said: "I was standing up there [for the second run], and was like, 'There's nothing I can do now, whatever will be, will be.'

"Standing up top, I saw all my family and friends, they're having fun.

"So I thought, I'm going to have fun."

Bright, a 23-year-old a from New South Wales who carried Australia's flag during the opening ceremony of the Games here last week, had finished fifth in Turin as a teenager.

She said: "I had no idea my parents were here.

"I thought they were back home in Australia.

"I love it.

"I should have known they were going to come.

"I was over at the house that the family had yesterday.

"They [parents] weren't there.

"But I found out they were hiding in a closet when I was there.

"I'm just so excited that I was able to put down that second run tonight.

"When I was standing up top I was like, 'Well, you know I did fall on that first run but all I can do is put that behind me and just go and do it.'"

Bright, who notched just 5.9 points in her first run of the final and went first in her second run as a result, heaped the pressure on everyone else in the field and none of the riders was able to respond.

In an error-strewn final, almost all of the boarders failed to match their qualifying scores in front of more than 3,500 spectators under the lights on Cypress Mountain.

Bright's win was only Australia's second medal of these Games and followed men's moguls silver for Dale Begg-Smith in freestyle skiing.

It also only their fourth gold medal since making their debut in the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 1936.

It was the country's first Olympic medal in snowboarding and Bright got a call from Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd soon after.

Bright said: "He was just really lovely."

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