Team GB medal hope Katie Ormerod misses out on final, four years after horrific injury


Success is all relative for Katie Ormerod.

On paper she was one of Team GB’s top medal hopes here, the first British snowboarder to win an overall World Cup title when she claimed the slopestyle Crystal Globe in 2020. But, quite obviously, Ormerod competes on snow, not paper.

Four years ago the 24-year-old arrived in PyeongChang as a much-touted contender, only to fracture her wrist and then break her heel, watching the Olympics from a hospital bed in Seoul.

She spent 18 months in rehab, admitting dark times with her only target just to walk again without pain.

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And while an 18th place in qualifying – which left her seven short of the spot needed to reach the final – might look disappointing, her back story is important for context.

“I’ve been waiting a really long time for this moment, to drop in and compete in an Olympic Games,” she said.

“I was stood at the top before my first run when I was about to drop in and I was like, ‘wow, this is my moment, I’ve become an Olympian finally.’

“It was really special and just to land that first run and get down, I’ve never felt a feeling like that. It was pure joy, and I’m so proud of myself for everything I’ve gone through, to finally get there.

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“It’s been awesome being out here. You definitely know you’re at the Olympics – the Olympic vibe is high. To finally drop in and know I’m an Olympian now, that means everything.”

Katie Ormerod of Britain reacts after competing. (Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters)

They are made from different stuff in this sport and the crude metric of results is not always their measure of success. It can be hard to understand if you view things through such a binary lens of “win” and “lose”.

Jenny Jones, who won Britain’s first Olympic medal on snow in the discipline eight years ago, insists Ormerod – a gymnast who turned a snowboarder on her local dry slope in Halifax – should be proud.

“When you look back at everything she’s been through, that she’s here and competing injury-free is remarkable,” she said.

“She was in a hospital bed four years ago, now she’s an Olympian and she’s only 24. She can hold her head very high.”

It wouldn’t take much for Ormerod to be a three-time Olympian but she just missed the team as a teenager in 2014 and then suffered her injury four years later. Jones was 34 when she won her medal in Sochi, so Ormerod can look to Milano-Cortina and beyond.

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Ormerod, who competes again in the Big Air on 14 February, broadcast live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app, did appear cautious on both her runs, admitting she found the artificial snow conditions and intimidating course more difficult than she expected.

“The conditions were okay but it’s been very challenging in the training days, which meant that I needed the hour’s training today to try and piece a run together,” she added.

“It has been very difficult, I’m really proud I made it happen, made it work and I got a run down.

“I’ve got big air next, so I’m just going to rest in between and put all my focus into that.”

Watch all the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app


inews.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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