Abi Harrigan hasn’t let a broken leg get in the way of her Olympic debut with the young Australian slopestyle skier making a painful appearance in the Beijing competition.
The 19-year-old was training three weeks ago before a competition in Livigno in Italy and was standing on the side of a hill when she was taken out by another skier.
Harrigan feared her Beijing dream was over when scans confirmed she had cracked her fibula just above her boot line.
But then medical staff suggested she could still compete, wearing a heat-moulded plate and using painkillers.
“I was devastated when I got the injury and thought that was it,” said Harrigan, who further aggravated the injury in training while in Beijing.
“I was going to go home and then I found I could come but then first training didn’t go great so it was mixed emotions.”
Harrigan, who had already withdrawn from the big air, finished at the bottom of qualifying after two runs at Genting Snow Park on Monday, but achieved her goal of becoming an Olympian.
“I definitely would have liked to have performed a bit better but the injury was holding me back so I was just happy to be out here and have some fun,” said Harrigan, who grew up with Olympic snowboarder Josie Baff in Jindabyne.
“I’m on a fair few painkillers – the medical team has been amazing, doing everything they can to get me out here.
“My Olympic experience has been an interesting one but I’m stoked to be here.”
The slopestyle course proved difficult – and dangerous – for a number of the female competitors.
American Caroline Clair didn’t start after she was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg suffered during the warm-up on Monday.
Her teammate Marin Hamill did enough to qualify but looked unlikely to compete in the final after a heavy fall in the final jump down to the finish which left her coach and teammates in tears.
Estonian Kelly Sildaru qualified in top spot while local darling Eileen Gu, who won gold in the big air, was in third.