Katie Ormerod: "I've never felt pain like it"
PyeongChang 2018

Katie Ormerod: "I've never felt pain like it"

15 February 2018 / 19:00
Katie Ormerod has spoken for the first time after breaking her heel clean in two last week but also vowed to return to Team GB and fulfill her Olympic dream in four years time.

Ormerod was one of Britain's brightest medal hopes coming into PyeongChang 2018 but, after falling twice in training, she was cruelly denied a debut Games appearance. 

The 20-year-old underwent emergency surgery at Seoul National University Hospital where her right heel was pinned back together.

That followed advice from UK-based consultant, foot and ankle surgeon James Calder – the same individual who has operated on the likes of Gareth Bale.

“As soon as I did it, I instantly knew I was really hurt, the pain was excruciating,” said Ormerod, retelling the moment she came off a rail section a fraction too early at the beginning of a routine training run.

“I tried to move out of the way of the other snowboarders but I just couldn’t and had to shout for help.

“I didn't even think it was possible to break your heel like that, it's one of the hardest bones in the body. They've never seen an injury like that before in snowboarding.

“The hardest bit was having to pull my boot off though because they cut it off and it was just agony. It took them one or two hours to get it off.

“They got scissors and they had to cut as much of the boot off as they could. There was still a little bit that they had to slide off and eventually they just pulled it off me and it was agony. I was screaming in pain, it was awful.”

The Brit was due to compete in the slopestyle and big air competitions in PyeongChang but will instead be cheering on her teammates from the comfort of her own home in Yorkshire after flying back on Friday.

She is expected to spend the next six weeks on crutches followed by three months of intense rehab with a view to return to the slopes in the summer. 

The setback adds to a long list of injuries already suffered by the young athlete – including a badly damaged anterior cruciate knee ligament and a broken back – but she vowed to return strongly once again.

"I’ve been dreaming of competing at the Olympics since I can remember," said Ormerod, who fractured her wrist as a result of her first training crash.  

"This was always my biggest dream so to finally qualify and get here was the best thing in world. I just can’t believe how much bad luck I’ve had here – I’ve never had so much bad luck in the world. 

“At these Games I really wanted to come here and do my best and hopefully bring back a medal. 

"I'll still keep training even harder now when I get back onto snow and hopefully I can do well at the next Games."

Sportsbeat 2018