Summerhayes sisters relishing life on the snow together
Freestyle Skiing

Summerhayes sisters relishing life on the snow together

11 November 2016 / 07:50

Should skiing sisters Katie and Molly Summerhayes one day appear on the same squad list at a Winter Olympic Games, they will join a long line of sporting siblings representing their sports on the highest stage.

Think Andy and Jamie Murray, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Ellie and Becky Downie – just three of the sibling sets to represent the wider Team GB family at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

For the Summerhayes sisters, skiing has been a part of their lives for as long as they can remember, with younger sister Molly, 19, first taking to the slopes at just four years of age, before being crowned junior world half pipe champion in 2015.

Older sister Katie, two years her senior, has represented Team GB at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, before becoming the first British female skier to win a Freestyle World Championship medal with silver the following year.

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As members of the British Park and Pipe squad, the sisters travel the world side-by-side, and while Katie and Molly are the first to admit to petty squabbling, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It makes it a lot easier having Katie by my side, and it’s nice knowing I have some family support with me all the time,” said halfpipe star Molly.

“It can be hard trying not to fall out, everyone knows what sisters can be like, but it’s ok because we do different events and so we go away with our separate coaches during the day.

“But if I ever need to talk to someone, I know that she’s there, and you can’t do anything better than travelling the world with your sister.”

Katie, who competes in slopestyle, added: “It’s good to have that constant support going both ways, and it’s nice that we can do this together.

“Molly is like my best friend, although I am kind of glad that we do different events. I wouldn’t want us to have to compete against each other, because I just want her to do as well as she possibly can.”

This year has proved to be a rollercoaster ride for the sisters, after Molly tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while training in the USA in January.

It is an injury Katie is only too familiar with, having twice ruptured hers, but admits she found it tough leaving her little sister behind as she continued to conquer the mountains.

“It was hard knowing she was back home with an injury. I’ve done my ACL twice before so I know what it’s like,” she said.

“When she did it, we were away in Breckenridge together at the start of the season, I was with the slopestyle coach and she was with the halfpipe coach.

“Her coach phoned mine and as soon as I heard the news, I knew what Molly was about to go through.

“It was really hard for me as well as her, but she’s come back strong. I was obviously away for the whole season but I spent the summer at home with her and she’s so ready to get back.”

And with less than 500 days to go until the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games get underway, it’s full steam ahead for the Summerhayes sisters as they continue to chase their joint Olympic dream.

“It would mean so much to go to an Olympics with Katie, especially with what I have been through over the past few months, and what she has been through before,” said Molly.

“I started skiing as a hobby, so to be going to the Olympics with my sister would be just a dream come true.”

Sportsbeat 2016

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