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Katie Summerhayes

Freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes might be preparing to take to the snow at Beijing 2022, but she started her sporting career in a very different place – Sheffield.

A woman (Katie Summerhayes) excited infront of the camera with a helmet.
Katie Summerhayes, skier, from ©Alamy Stock Photo

The 26-year-old originally learnt how to ski at Sheffield's dry slope, but soon made the transition to snow and this year will represent Team GB in the women’s slopestyle and big air at the Winter Games.

But unlike many of her rivals, she doesn’t go home to a ski resort in between competitions; instead, she returns to the city she grew up in.

She said of her hometown: “I’m a proper Sheffield lass and I'm just as proud as to be from Sheffield as I am from GB. I really love coming from Sheffield. 

“When we have time off, my competitors go home to some of the best resorts in the world.  

“I come home to Sheffield because obviously I love Sheffield. It doesn't have snow and mountains, so we just have to make most of every opportunity we have on snow.” 

And after recording seventh-place finishes at Sochi 2014 and in PyeongChang four years later, Summerhayes hopes to soar even higher in the Chinese capital this year and secure her spot on the podium.

She may have spent some weeks away from the slopes in the runup to the Games, but that won’t stop her trying out some new tricks.

There will definitely be stuff I've not done before at an Olympics, which will be exciting. We'll just see how the course runs when we get there. 

Katie Summerhayes, skier

“When you look at a course for me, I look at it and think: I want to do that, and I'm going to do that there. I'm going to do this trick there and then when you get out there it could be completely different. I try not to make up one in my head before I go.” 

She stressed the importance of National Lottery funding in helping her get to where she is now, claiming she wouldn’t be where she is now without it.

“This has made it all possible, not just for me but every other athlete on the ski team and in winter sports,” she said.

“It's just unbelievable what they've helped us achieve - and I will forever be thankful to National Lottery players for their support.”

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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