Katie Summerhayes

Summerhayes sisters flying family flag together


Freestyle Skiing

Summerhayes sisters flying family flag together

16 December 2015 / 15:23

With a world silver medal for Katie and a world junior title for younger sister Molly, there is no doubt 2015 will go down as a year to remember for the Summerhayes household.

But while sharing the limelight in the freestyle skiing world with her sibling initially took some getting used to initially, Katie insists she’d now not have it any other way.

Find out more about Katie Summerhayes by visiting her Homegrown Heroes blog here

Born in October 1995, two years before sister Molly, Katie initially learned to ski at her local dry ski slope at the Sheffield Ski Village aged six.

Despite a reoccurring ACL injury that threatened her Olympic dream, Katie represented Team GB at Sochi 2014, before becoming the first British female skier to win a freestyle World Championship medal when she won silver last January.

She was not the only Summerhayes flying the family flag on the slopes though with Molly stepping up to the international stage this year.

While her sister was finishing on the podium at the World Championships, Molly was also posting a respectable 11th place in the halfpipe discipline and she backed that up two months later with the world junior title in Italy – a performance that has earned her a nomination for this week’s BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Both are now part of the British Park and Pipe Ski Squad and Katie admits that after a few teething problems, they get now get on like a house on fire.

“I love having Molly with me, when she first [joined the team] she was a bit annoying, but we’re best mates now,” she said.

“Us girls [in the team] are the best of friends, there’s five of us and we get on so well.

“We probably annoy everyone else because we’re just so loud, but it’s amazing because we literally get to travel the world with our best friends, doing what we love – it is like a dream.”

Like any successful athlete, the Summerhayes sisters have been working hard on building upon their results from last season.

And for Katie, that has meant taking a step – or spin – into the unknown in order to increase her difficulty level in the tricks she performs on the slopes.

“I’ve learnt loads of unnatural spinning,” she added.

“The way I’d describe it is like being able to write with my right hand and then having to do everything with my left.

“My natural way to go is right, so I’ve learnt loads of spinning left, which hopefully is going to help me.

“I’ve been working super hard on that for the past year, so hopefully I’m going to be able to put it into my competitions this year.”