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Katie Ormerod

Katie Ormerod’s father remembers the exact moment he knew his daughter would become an Olympian.

A woman (Katie Ormerod) standing infront of the camera
Katie Ormerod, snowboarder by ©Alamy Stock Photo

Katie Ormerod’s father remembers the exact moment he knew his daughter would become an Olympian.

Aged just four, the snowboarder flung herself out of a cardboard box and broke her nose - and it seems she's spent much of her time in A&E ever since.

Injuries, unsurprisingly, come with the job description for snowboarders, and Katie is no exception, having suffered from a fractured shoulder, two broken arms, snapped anterior cruciate ligament and a broken back.

These injuries aren’t without consequence either: Ormerod came to PyeongChang in 2018 as one of Team GB's top medal hopes, only to break her wrist and then her heel on the eve of competition.

But ahead of Beijing 2022, she feels ready to take on her second Winter Games.

"This feels way more special qualifying this time around because of what's happened in the past," said Ormerod, who is one of over 1,000 athletes able to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from vital National Lottery funding.

"Going to PyeongChang, breaking my heel and having to spend a full year in rehab is not what I dreamed from my Olympic debut. It's been a really difficult journey and I've worked extremely hard to be in a position to confidently go into my second Games.

"I've been snowboarding for as long as I can remember and I just love this sport but nine months into the rehab I was physically strong but still walking with a limp, that's when I got really scared. I just wanted to do whatever it took to get back riding. I wanted to snowboard again but I also just wanted to walk without pain.

"I'm proud of how hard I've worked. That time being injured was very challenging, both mentally and physically. There were seven operations and I had to seize on the little wins and just get through it. I knew it could have been career ending but I was determined not to think about it.

"Since, I've had the most successful season of my career and made my second Games team, I'm so proud I stuck with it and showed that resilience and determination. I hope this story inspires others to keep following their dreams. I just didn't want to let the broken heel stop me or hold me back."

After learning to ski as a four-year old, Ormerod - who stands just 4ft 9in in her ski boots - took delivery of her first snowboard one year later and has been careering downhill quickly since.

At 16 she became the youngest female to land the 'backside double-cork 1080' but she missed selection for the Sochi Olympics, an untimely knee surgery on a torn lateral meniscus ruining her chances.

British snowboarder Jenny Jones won Slopestyle bronze in Sochi, Team GB's first medal on snow, but Ormerod wants to make her own piece of history by going even better and adding to the 1,000-plus medals achieved by British athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding to elite sport in 1997.

Since National Lottery funding to elite sport started in 1997, over 1,000 Olympic and Paralympic medals have been won, with more to come in Beijing 2022, Paris 2024 and beyond.

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