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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 21:13 GMT

Party on, dudes

BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson enjoys the atmosphere at the Olympic freestyle skiing.

British mogul skiers Laura Donaldson and Joanne Bromfield were never in with a medal chance at the Winter Olympics.

But they enjoyed the experience at Deer Valley Resort in Utah and it will be a day they will never forget.

Cheered on by thousands of spectators ringing cow-bells, and speaker systems pumping out loud rock music, the competition resembled more a party than an Olympic event.

Norway's Kari Traa, already the World Cup champion, won the gold medal in spectacular form with a triple twister.

America's Shannon Bahrke was delighted with her silver and Tae Satoya from Japan clinched the bronze medal.

Tight squeeze

Donaldson, who finished 29th in qualification and did not make the final, had been determined to compete in the Games and had taken all manner of jobs, including being a chalet girl, to fund her training.

The 30-year-old from Glasgow told BBC Sport Online: "I only qualified for the Olympics on 19 January so it was a bit of a tight squeeze.

"I was a little nervous at the start and held back a bit.

"I was conscious that I could not hear any music as I was coming down, then all of a sudden I heard the crowds cheering.

"It gave me such an energy boost. They spurred me on at the end and it was an immense feeling."

Young talent

At 19-years-old, Bromfield was the youngest competitor in the event.

She was born in Dorchester but has lived in Salt Lake City for the past 10 years.

Her parents Doreen and George, brother Jonathan and sister Susie were waving Union Flags and cheering her on along with her friends.

Bromfield, who finished 28th, said: "It was overwhelming to take part in the Winter Olympics.

"I'm only young and hopefully I'll be back in four years' time. This was really just for experience and was a dream come true.

"It was great to have all my family and friends here supporting me. "Now it's over Laura and I can party and enjoy the rest of the Games."


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