#100daystogo: Katie Summerhayes inspired by Youth Olympics

30 October 2013 / 08:55

It's hard to believe that Sochi is so close now - I remember the moment we found out slopestyle was going to be part of the Olympic Games and it feels like only yesterday.

So much has happened in that time - getting to carry the British flag at the Youth Olympics, making my first World Cup podium in Silvaplana in February and then just missing out on the medals at the World Championships last season, when I finished fourth.

If I'm selected it will be my first Olympics but I believe the experience of being part of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck last year gives me a real advantage.

It was without doubt the best few days of my sporting career so far, I felt so honoured to be part of Team GB and I will never forget carrying the flag at the opening ceremony. I don't think I've felt more proud or important.

Usually our events are all the same people hanging out but you felt part of a bigger team, it wasn't just skiers but snowboarders, figure skaters, bobsleigh drivers, speed skaters and others. Getting to see those athletes in action, wearing the kit and feeling part of a real team was an experience that will live with me for the rest of my life.

I would have loved a medal in Innsbruck but I finished fifth in the halfpipe, which is not my signature event but slopestyle wasn't part of the programme.

However, it gave me a flavour of what Sochi could be like and it has been a real motivation for me ever since.

I remember coming home and having to go into school the very next day. That was a big of a shock for me and that's perhaps when I realised what I really wanted to achieve from my sport.

A few years ago I never thought I could make a sports career from skiing. I imagined I might be a skier but now I'm an athlete and I could be an Olympian, that is something that didn't seem possible just a short time ago.

My biggest fear is getting injured, it's part of all sport - but especially ours. I'd just hate to have to watch the Olympics on television.

I took nine months out last year with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, then came back did four months of competition before I was told the operation hadn't been a success.

I've now been back into surgery and I'm now working hard on rehab and I'll be skiing again soon. It's not just chilling at home, I've got a really hectic training programme, with loads of time in the gym every day and then physio sessions too.

Perhaps there is more expectation on me because of what happened last year but I don't feel that pressure.

People might expect me to do well but our discipline is incredibly close, loads of girls have the chance of winning a medal and I'm not going to let it stress me out. Everyone has the tricks but it is just a question of who puts it down at the Games when it matters.

We've already seen the course plan, which is very unusual, and it's really excited me.

They obviously want to encourage us to throw down some great tricks and there are some great rails section, which is a really strong part of my skiing.

I'm hoping it plays to my advantage but I'm just really excited about the challenge. I know the next 100 days is going to fly by - and I can't wait.

© Sportsbeat 2013