Molly Summerhayes admits she doesn’t need to look far for inspiration as she aims for a breakthrough season on the freestyle ski circuit.
In 2012 Summerhayes’ sister Katie was the flag bearer for Great Britain’s team at the Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck and she watched on this year as her older sibling took seventh place in Sochi’s slopestyle final.
However, while the elder Summerhayes has found her calling in slopestyle, Molly has ambitions to represent Great Britain in the halfpipe in Pyeongchang 2018.
And the 17-year-old, who won overall slopestyle gold at the 2013 British Indoor Championships and is a member of the British Freestyle Halfpipe squad, says seeing her sister in action has cemented her desire to go just as far.
“The Olympics has opened up a whole new excitement for the sport, there’s a lot more interest in the athletes and people want to know more about skiing and snowboarding,” she said.
“It was amazing to see my sister compete in Sochi and it gave me the experience of what it would be like if I was to get there in four years’ time and that is the ultimate goal.
“She helps me with how to calm my nerves, she knows what to expect and how to deal it and that will always help me.”
As the new season dawns for Summerhayes she knows that the hard work starts on the road to Pyeongchang.
But she is refusing to put too much pressure on herself in the early stages of the Olympic cycle and says she is just focusing on finding her feet in the team.
“The new season starts soon and I’m going to America for a month just before Christmas which will be the first time I’ve skied there so I’m excited for that,” she added.
“I’m new to the GB team and to halfpipe so I want to start competing in World Championships, the main goals are to start getting into it more, I want to find my place and work towards new tricks and competitions.
“I grew up with a quite a few of the athletes so it doesn’t feel too different, there’s a great team ethic and everyone is extremely supportive of one another which fills me with excitement for the future.
“Ultimately this season is about finding my feet and after is where I’ll look to challenge in competitions.
“If I get in my first event will be in January, so I’m going to be working hard in the gym, trying to get as strong as I can and work on all my new tricks.”
© Sportsbeat 2014