Team GB Exclusive: Diminutive Ormerod looks to soar to new heights
Snowboarding

Team GB Exclusive: Diminutive Ormerod looks to soar to new heights

02 December 2016 / 09:49

Snowboarder Katie Ormerod may appear reserved and come across as quiet but she’s hoping to make a big noise at the Winter Olympics - with no fear and whole lot of teen spirit.

Ormerod, 19, has made the best possible start to the season, which also marks the beginning of the qualifying campaign for Pyeongchang, 434 days away and counting.

Last weekend she claimed bronze in the Snowboard Big Air World Cup in Korea, a test event for the 2018 Games. It was her second podium of the season after a silver in Austria one week earlier.

Fellow British snowboarder Jenny Jones famously won a snowboard slopestyle bronze in Sochi, Team GB’s first-ever medal on snow.

Ormerod now wants to make her own piece of history by going even better in 2018. 

And she’s got form in pushing sporting boundaries, becoming the first woman to land a dizzying, gravity defying backside double-cork 1080 - two 360-degree front flips and a full 360-degree corkscrew spin.

It’s a trick - which has now been viewed 140,000 times on YouTube - that many thought was not possible and the British teenager remains the only woman to perfect it.

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“I watched the last Olympics on television and I remember just feeling sad,” she said.

“I was really disappointed because I wanted so badly to be there. I was only 15 and the experience of just trying to qualify was amazing. I know I probably wouldn’t have medalled, so these Olympics are about winning. I feel totally ready, I just need to get that qualification sorted and then focus on the Games.

“I want to win in Pyeongchang and it will be about putting down my best tricks when it matters. If I could do that backside double-cork 1080 again at the Olympics, that would be a huge head start.”

Ormerod only called time on her gymnastics career four years ago and admits she was glued to the television during Rio, cheering Max Whitlock and others to their podium performances. 

Now she wants her shining moment but the first target will be to secure her place in the world’s top 30 as quickly as possible. 

Competitions are coming thick and fast in the next few weeks and good results will really ease the pressure and mean she doesn’t need to chase every available ranking point.

“The Olympics feels like they are getting closer and closer, now the qualifying has properly started,” added Ormerod.

“There are so events this season and it’s going to be hectic but I can’t wait. I finished third in the world last season and my aim is to improve on that and just keep collecting the podiums and that will be enough to get me to Pyeongchang.

“It’s stressful with so many competitions coming up but I just need to maintain my consistency and that will give me confidence and also the opportunity to be able to skip some events. 

“First four competitions will be done by early December and if I can keep doing well then that will really drop the pressure.

“I’m used to the pressure and I’m trying to harness it and turn that into a positive energy. I’m nervous at every competition but I’m much more confident now too.”

Sportsbeat 2016

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