David Morris this morning became the first Australian man to win a silver medal in the men’s aerials at a Winter Olympics.
Morris, 29, finished 13th at the Vancouver games, then suffered a long layoff through 2011/12 with a hip injury.
He spent much of that time on the verge of retiring from the sport, but decided to give it one last shot in 2013.
The result was a standout World Cup season in which he claimed three medals, including a breakout gold medal in the Ukraine leg.
He began this morning’s gold medal tilt yesterday by nailing his first jump, a back Full-Double Full-Full, which immediately qualified him for this morning’s final.
He was first to jump in the super final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, where he landed a double-Full Full-Full to score 110.41.
It took an extraordinary jump from Belarus’ three-time Olympian Anton Kushnir to knock Morris out of the gold medal place.
Kushnir went for the highest scoring jump possible – the Back Double Full-Full-Double Full (five twisting somersault) and landed it along with an incredible 134.50 points.
Disaster then struck the two Chinese favourites, with reigning world champion Qi Guangpu failing a landing and World Cup number one Jia Zongyang’s Back Full-Triple Full-Full only good enough for bronze.
“I know that I’m not the best jumper out here,” he told Network Ten.
“You saw the quality of the jumps and some of these guys just got quite unlucky.
“I consistently land though and that always puts you in the top 10, top eight and, today, top four and – second!”
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