Jewish Journal

Is Snowboarding Gold Medalist Torah Bright Jewish?

by Julie Gruenbaum Fax

February 22, 2010 | 12:46 pm

Torah Bright, the Australian snowboarding gold medalist on the halfpipe at the Vancouver Olympics, may not be Jewish but her name is just what it looks like – homage to the Jewish Five Books of Moses.

Torah bright is a lifelong Mormon who grew up near the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. Her sister Rowena told the LDS (Latter Day Saints) Church News in 2006 that she suggested the name for her new sister, born in 1986, after her Jewish piano teacher told her the name meant “bearer of a great spiritual message.”

Rowena skied in the 2002 Olympics and then moved to the University of Utah in Salk Lake City, where Torah soon followed, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Her brother Ben coached her for this Olympics. Torah suffered a series of concussions in January and doctors ordered her to sit out weeks of practices to “rest her brain.”

She out-boarded American snowboard stars Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark with a clean run that included a “switchback 720,” a move done only by men snowboarders.


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