Mormons in the Olympics: Snowboard slopestyle finals, Alpine skiing and luge

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 12:53 p.m. MST

Jessika Jenson of the United States takes a jump during the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

Andy Wong, AP

This weekend, several members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took to the slopes of Sochi as they competed in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

Snowboard slopestyle

Torah Bright and Jessika Jensen competed in the snowboard slopestyle discipline this weekend and finished seventh and 13th overall, respectively.

The inaugural slopestyle event included three jib sections with rails for the athletes to ride and three large jumping hills.

Bright, 27, of Cooma, Australia, who trains in Salt Lake City, had advanced directly to the finals from the qualifying run.

In her first ride, she put down a score of 64.75. On her second run, she received a 66.25, which included a front-side 360-degree turn with a smooth landing and 900-degree turn with a bobbled landing.

She was seventh overall and is planning to compete in Wednesday’s halfpipe competition and snowboard cross on Feb. 16.

Bright posted a picture with gold medalist Jamie Anderson on Twitter and Instagram.

The top four riders in the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinals moved up to the finals.

Jenson, 22, of Rigby, Idaho, competed in the semifinals and had a smooth first run, including a 540-degree turn on the first jump and front-side 360 with a board tap for a score of 72. She was fourth after the first run.

On the second run, her score was the one to beat for riders wanting to get in the top four. Jenson completed a nearly flawless 540-degree double grab and a front-side 360, but she slipped on the final landing on a backside 720-degree jump, giving her a score of 50.50.

She ended up in fifth in the semifinals and 13th overall.

At the bottom of the second run, she made a heart with her yellow-gloved hands and yelled: “I heart Idaho!”

“Even though I missed finals by 1 spot, I had the most fun yesterday in semis!” Jenson posted on her Facebook page. She added her congratulations to Anderson and all of the women who competed, and thanked family and friends who supported her. “I hope to have another Olympic experience in South Korea! I heart IDAHO!”

Alpine skiing: men’s downhill

Steven Nyman of Sundance was first down the course during Sunday’s men’s downhill competition.

His time was 2.09.15 and he was in 27th.

The downhill is a steep 2.17-mile course with a drop of more than 3,500 feet with turns and four jumps with speeds of more than 70 mph.

“Tough day at the office. I tried my best to tackle that beast but she got the best of me,” Nyman posted on Twitter and Instragram, adding his congratulations to bronze medalist Kjetil Jansrud of Norway and gratitude to supporters. “It means a lot to me. And a big thanks to my Mom for flying all the way to russia to see me hurtle my carcass down the mountain.”

Nyman and Erik Fisher, also of Idaho, both had to earn a spot in the men’s downhill race

Fisher posted on his Facebook page that “Once again I had to fight thru an injury to try and make the final 4 spots and could not quite do it.”

He mentioned a knee injury and that he would be getting an MRI.

“I'm proud of what I accomplished,” he wrote, adding: “Nyman is a very good friend of mine and I hope he kills it!”

Luge

Kate Hansen, 21, of California, was 10th after the first two runs in the women's luge competition on Monday.

In the first run, she was third down the track and had a time of 50.794 seconds with a top speed of 130.4 kilometers per hour. In the second run, her time was 50.581 seconds and her top speed was 131.9 kph.

Each luger gets four runs down the track, all four times are added together and the one with the lowest overall time wins.

The next two runs for Hansen and the 30 competitors will be on Tuesday.

Hansen, a Brigham Young University sophomore, competed injured when she earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. She also won her first World Cup event on Jan. 25 in Latvia. She’s the 2013 national champion.

Click here for a list of members of the LDS Church competing in Sochi.

Email: rappleye@deseretnews.com Twitter: CTRappleye

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