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In Praise of Torah

Mormon gold medalist’s inspired first name

by
Marc Tracy
February 19, 2010
Bright celebrating her win last night.(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Bright celebrating her win last night.(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The first thing some of us wanted to know when Australian snowboarder Torah Bright, 23, won the women’s halfpipe last night in Vancouver was, “Is she or isn’t she?” Well, she’s not—she’s an observant Mormon, actually, who makes her winter home (Northern Hemisphere winter, that is) in Salt Lake City, Utah. But she is still proud of her name’s provenance, we learn from a profile on the official Australian site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Her mother, it reports, “settled on the name Torah, the Jewish name for the first five books of the Bible, when [her other daughter] Rowena’s Jewish piano teacher told her the word also means ‘bearer of a great spiritual message.’” And now, bearer of a gold medal, too.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.

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