What to Know
- Elizabeth Swaney came in dead-last in the women's freeski halfpipe qualifier; all she did was ski up and down the halfpipe
- The world seemed confused by her performance -- and Swaney was quick to see a backlash against her performance online
- On Wednesday. Swaney appeared on the Today show to defend her place at the Olympics
Controversial Olympic athlete Elizabeth Swaney is unapologetic, and she wants to set the record straight.
The skier went on the "Today" show Wednesday morning to defend her now-viral average Olympic performance, after being labeled the "worst Olympian ever" online. (Watch the interview in the player above.)
Reactions to Swaney's last-place finish in the freestyle halfpipe this week were swift and many were unkind, with some berating the athlete for treating the Olympics as a joke. But if Swaney thought it was a joke, she didn't let on.
"I actually did three tricks," she was quick to clarify when "Today" hosts asked if she was concerned she didn't have much to show compared with the other women. "It's a little strange to hear I only did one trick or zero tricks."
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Swaney, a 33-year-old from California, is technically American. But she's able to compete for Hungary because her grandparents are from there. This has been perceived as a loophole by many, who see much more skilled athletes from other countries left out of the Olympics due to competing in a bigger pool.
When asked whether she understands why there is a backlash against her being at the games, she replies that she does, but at the same time she "always tries to do her best."