Rosa Khutor (Russia) (AFP) - After upsetting three Olympic champions to take Games gold in the women's snowboard halfpipe in Sochi on Wednesday, Kaitlyn Farrington revealed that her father had sold his cows to boost her career.
"When I started competing in bigger events my dad had to sell his cows just to get me to those bigger events across the country," said the 24-year-old.
"So my parents have been backing me since day one and I'm sure they are not missing those cows today."
Farrington said her upbringing on a ranch had helped mould her into the Olympic champion she is now.
"Growing up in Idaho and growing up on a ranch made me the person I am today, it definitely made me a tough girl," she added.
"As my parents have been saying, this whole journey is 'cowgirl up' as that's kind of what I've got to do.
"When I was still in high school -- I think the cattle sales were on Wednesday in a place called Ketchum -- so before I'd go to school, I'd help my dad load a cow up onto the trailer, maybe two, and he'd take them off to the cattle sale and auction them off."
The American came into the competition as an outsider and her form throughout the day gave no indication of what was to come in the final.
She had failed to make the final directly from the heats, needing a second chance semi-final to progress, but produced a stunning second run to score 91.75.
Vancouver 2010 winner Torah Bright of Australia missed out on gold by just 0.25 while veteran Salt Lake City 2002 champion Kelly Clark, 30, took bronze with a score of 90.75.
That meant that Turin 2006 gold medallist Hannah Teter missed out on another medal by just 0.25 to her American compatriot.
The result maintained the US domination of snowboarding at these Games where they have won three of the four gold medals.
They only missed out on the men's halfpipe when superstar Shaun White was incredibly pushed down to fourth as Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov took gold, with Japanese pair Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoko completing the podium.
Farrington's victory was all the more surprising because she had failed to make the top three in her heat and qualify directly for the final.
Although her score of 87.00 was good, it was put into the shade by runs produced by Clark (95.00), Bright (93.00), Teter (92.00) and even Spain's Queralt Castellet (93.25).
But Farrington just kept improving and topped the semi-finals scores with 87.50 before managing an 85.75 in her first run in the final.
But she saved the best until last.
Clark produced the biggest jumps while Bright's routine was also highly acrobatic, but Farrington's was the smoothest.