A lot has happened in the six months since Katie Ormerod became an internet sensation, but she’s happy to take the rough with the smooth in a bid to make history at PyeongChang 2018.
Just over two months after the dust had settled on an historic Winter Olympics for Britain in Sochi, Ormerod demonstrated exactly why the nation should be so excited about snow sports.
Then 16, Ormerod became the first female snowboarder ever to land a backside double cork 1080 – in essence a trick that involves leading a spin with your back, rotating three times and doing two flips.
Easy enough – but Ormerod’s progress would be halted in August as, competing in Australia, she snapped her anterior cruciate ligament, underwent surgery and forced into rehab.
Before suffering the injury, Ormerod, who turned 17 in August, was still being commended on her feats in Austria three months earlier – her trick rapidly affording her bigger and better company.
The nature of the beast is that big tricks, landed perfectly, separate the medallists from the also-rans at the Winter Olympics, and despite her injury, Ormerod will continue the same way to PyeongChang 2018.
“The first time I actually over-rotated quite a lot, into my face nearly, then the more I did I started landing on my feet but with a little hand touch, which counts, but I wanted it to be really clean so I kept going until I got a really nice one,” said Ormerod, a slopestyle specialist.
“I had a competition in Australia this summer and people that I didn’t even know were coming up to me saying that they knew who I was and that was quite cool. Other competitions have started recognising me, so I’ve started getting invites to big international competitions now.
“At the minute I’m in the gym a lot because of the injury. I snapped my ACL but the rehab is going really well. I’m in the gym every day training really hard and when I get back on snow, which shouldn’t be too long, I’ve got a lot of new tricks I want to try.
“I’ve got a lot of tricks that I want to learn for the Olympics in 2018, my main aim is to get a medal there so it’s going to be a lot of hard work but I’m really looking forward to it.”
It’s widely acknowledged that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018 are when Britain’s freestyle skiers and snowboarders are tipped to really challenge for medals after a breakthrough at Sochi 2014.
Jenny Jones won Britain’s first medal on snow with snowboard slopestyle bronze and the likes of the fifth and sixth-place finishes achieved by James Woods and Jamie Nicholls are expected to be upgraded.
Ormerod narrowly missed out on joining Jones in Russia, Aimee Fuller was Britain’s second representative in women’s snowboard slopestyle, and the 17-year-old is relishing the new interest in the team.
“Going into Sochi we had a lot of interviews and stuff and that was really cool because it showed a lot of people were interested and it was the first time that slopestyle was in the Olympics,” she added.
“So I think when people saw that on the TV they were amazed by because they hadn’t really seen anything like that before and that’s great because so many people are now getting into the sport.”
© Sportsbeat 2014