Freestyle skier Katie Summeryhayes, from Sheffield, will carry the Union Flag at tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony of the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, it was announced today.
Summerhayes, aged 16, was presented with the Union Flag at the Athletes Village by Team GB Chef de Mission Sir Clive Woodward following a vote by all 24 athletes in the Team GB delegation.
Summerhayes will lead the Team GB’s athletes, who will compete across ten Olympic disciplines over nine days of competition beginning on Saturday 14 January, when Summerhayes will be in action in the ski halfpipe qualification event.
Ski halfpipe is a new addition to the Olympic Programme and will make its full Olympic debut at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Summerhayes competed at the 2011 FIS World Championships in the USA, where she finished 11th in slopestyle and 14th in halfpipe. She has also competed at the X Games and recently won a bronze medal in the Europa Cup.
Team GB Chef de Mission Sir Clive Woodward said:
“I am delighted for Katie that her fellow athletes have voted to give her the honour of carrying the Union Flag on behalf of Team GB in the Opening Ceremony. Katie is an outstanding athlete who has already achieved a great deal in her young career. I have every confidence that she will represent Team GB with great pride, determination and talent and I am sure the Youth Olympics will provide her with a great opportunity to experience the Olympic environment and compete against the best athletes in the world in her age group.”
Team GB Flagbearer Katie Summerhayes said:
“I am super happy to be selected to carry the flag for Team GB at the Opening Ceremony, especially as it was voted for by my teammates. It really adds something special to the whole Youth Olympic experience for me. To be the first Team GB flag bearer at the first ever Youth Olympics is a dream come true. I’m proud to be representing Team GB and proud to be British. I can’t wait to get out there and give it my best shot in the halfpipe on Saturday.”