Vancouver, 18 February 2010: New Zealand’s Kendall Brown pushed through the pain of a dislocated shoulder to finish an outstanding 15th in the women’s halfpipe at Cypress Mountain in Vancouver making her New Zealand’s top performer at Vancouver 2010.Brown’s shoulder popped out in training just 30 minutes before her first run. Coach Tom Willmott credits the 20 year old with impressive mental and physical strength. “To come back from an injury that would have put most people out of competition was tough. She dealt with the pressure – it rolled off her like water off a duck’s back,” he said.
Brown popped her shoulder back in herself mid-run. It was later strapped by New Zealand physio Sheryl Dickenson.
Brown was delighted with her performance. “I’m stoked. It was fun to ride on the pipe today and it was in amazing condition – they’d kept it really good for us. I landed a good clean first run but just missed a big trick on my second. My shoulder was sore and aching but painkillers kept it pretty much under control.”
Coach Willmott said Brown had followed a plan. “She’d gone for a clean run with plenty of amplitude on her first run. She then went for broke on her second knowing she needed to increase her score. She sketched on her second to last landing and didn’t quite pull off the 720 she’d hoped for.”
Finishing in fifteeth is nonetheless a very impressive result the young athlete.
At her second Olympic Games, Brown was still in awe as she prepared for her first run “Vancouver is just that much bigger and more impressive,” she said, comparing her Olympic experience today to the Torino Olympic Games four years ago where she finished 24th.
Brown is looking towards a strong future in snowboarding. “I’m going to focus on getting my shoulder fixed and then will be looking to conquer Russia (Olympic Games 2014).”
Meanwhile, Willmott praised the high calibre of women’s competition today at Cypress. “Clearly, I’m stoked with Kendall,” he said. “But I’m very proud of Bex (Sinclair) who performed under pressure and to land a crippler seven is outstanding. At just 19, she’ll be a threat in 2014.
Ju (Bray) did the biggest backside ever in her first run. She was smooth with the cab seven and it was a real shame she crashed. It was a run that could’ve made the finals.”
The snowboarding competition for New Zealand at Vancouver 2010 is now complete.