Getting to know Katie Ormerod



Getting to know Katie Ormerod

09 February 2018 / 15:15

Katie Ormerod

Event: Snowboarding

Age: 20

Hometown: Brighouse

Team GB debut: PyeongChang 2018

Favourite healthy food: Berries

Interesting fact: In March 2017 Katie broke her back but made a speedy recovery in just six months.

Missing out on an Olympic place as a 16-year-old had fuelled Katie Ormerod for the last four years.

As a teenager Ormerod came within a whisker of qualifying for the Sochi 2014 Games – the first time her event of snowboard slopestyle had featured at the Olympics.

Four years on and Ormerod was back, qualified with ease and a realistic medal prospect in two events, slopestyle and the newly-added big air.

With six World Cup podiums and one win to her name – in the Moscow big air in January 2017 – Ormerod finished last season ranked second in the world in big air and with a Winter X-Games medal in her kit bag.

A first World Championship medal was on the horizon in March but injury struck in training as she fell, breaking her back in the process.

And sadly, lightning has struck twice as Ormerod first fractured her wrist at training in PyeongChang, before returning to the slope the next day and landing heavily on her heel – breaking it into two pieces.

That meant she was ruled out of the Games before they even started, devastating news for someone who flew to PyeongChang full of confidence.

“Last season I had probably the best season yet so I am really happy about it, I got my first ever X Games medal and my first ever World Cup gold, both of which I wanted to tick off my bucket list so I am feeling really confident going into PyeongChang,” she had said.

“I would love to go to PyeongChang and bring back a medal and I am feeling really confident after the last two seasons that I have had, so that’s my goal.”

Sadly that was not to be the case but, posting on social media she reassured fans from her hospital bed that she would, once again, come back stronger.

“Yesterday sucked,” she exclaimed. “After dreaming of competing at the Olympics for years, I finally got there and received the most bad luck I’ve ever had.

“After breaking my wrist on the first training day I was determined to still train, compete and do my best but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

“I severely broke my heel into two pieces so having surgery to get it fixed. Words can’t describe how gutted I am but thank you to everyone for all your support and kind words.

“Also a massive good luck to my team mates competing – you guys better kill it.”

Many observers would, with good reason, say they could never do what Ormerod does on a snowboard.

Danger is a daily encounter for many winter Olympians – as she knows all too well – so how does one go about learning new tricks and getting to the level required to make an Olympic Games?

“A typical training day would be waking up early in the morning, going up the mountain and riding for maybe four to six hours depending on the weather that day,” she revealed.

“That consists of riding in jumps and rails, just doing different repetitions of tricks, learning new tricks and then we’d go down the mountain, probably get something to eat and then we’d go to either the gym for an hour or go trampolining, depending on where we are in the world because different places have different facilities.

“I have been doing gymnastics from the age of four, so I have balanced both gymnastics and snowboarding throughout my whole childhood and it is so important to do that.

“Even now as a snow boarder I’d still do gymnastics as part of my training regime because it really helps with muscular strength and spatial awareness of what I need in my snowboarding.

“I think it is an amazing sport and everyone should get involved with it.”

With strength needed to land jumps, flexibility needed to perform tricks in the air and durability needed to bounce back from a crash or tough landing, how does Ormerod fuel her body?

“My favourite healthy dinner is chicken and vegetable stir fry,” she added.

“The snacks that I usually go for would be cashews and fruit, I am a big fan of berries so I’d always try to travel with berries and bananas.

“The last thing I cooked for my teammates was chicken fajitas. But my ultimate cheat meal would be a big Sunday roast.

“Then my guilty pleasures are definitely chocolate and sweets, like I have a bit sweet tooth.”