There was an interesting segment in an interview on Ski Sunday this week, where Ed Leigh spoke to Australian professional snowboarder Torah Bright. Torah Bright is a Mormon and she was asked directly about the impact of her faith on her sport. Ed also mentioned two other women who’ve achieved success in half-pipe snowboarding: Kelly Clark, a US boarder who is a Christian, and Hannah Teeter, who Leigh describes as having ‘spirituality’.
Here’s how the segment of the interview went:
EL: ‘I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the three women who’ve dominated half-pipe snowboarding – Kelly Clark, Hannah Teeter and you – all have faith, or spirituality in Hannah’s case. And it’s…I’ve seen a lot of top female athletes who struggle with confidence or insecurity, and you guys seem to have this belief there. Do you think that there’s a connection there, between faith and confidence?’
TB: ‘I don’t know really, y’know. I guess…we can make that connection but I do feel when you have a spiritual connection or a faith or something… it does give you a grounding sense, and it does give you a purpose in a way as well…and for me being religious my whole life, it’s also a foundation.’
More interesting than Torah Bright’s answer is the hypothesis in Ed Leigh’s question, and his willingness to express that hypothesis. Judging by Kelly Clark’s account of how faith has changed her approach to snowboarding, Leigh’s hypothesis is on the right lines.