Sheffield freestyle skier Katie Summerhayes jump starts her push for gold

Sheffield's Katie Summerhayes during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games
Sheffield's Katie Summerhayes during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games
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Winter Olympian Katie Summerhayes is aiming to win gold at Pyeongchang 2018 after overcoming disappointment from the last games.

The 19-year-old is currently pre-season training in Hintertux, Austria, ahead of the countries January World Championships in Kreischberg.

Katie Summmerhayes

Katie Summmerhayes

Despite the Waterthorpe born athlete being injured for nine months prior to Sochi 2014, Summerhayes is confident ahead of this season with medal success at the next Olympics her long-term aim.

“I am working towards a gold medal, that is definitely what I want to achieve and it’s a fantastic goal to get me training hard for the next three years,” the British freestyle skier said.

“As soon as Sochi finished the next Olympics was my focus and everything is geared around that chance of winning a gold medal now.

“I was injured leading up to Sochi which didn’t help my preparation at all so fingers crossed that won’t happen this time around.

“I’m working on new tricks and skills all the time and I want to keep making improvements and getting better and better. I want to try and get that gold and the hard work has already started.”

Even with inadequate training preparation the former Sheffield Sharks Ski club athlete finished seventh in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, after coming third in qualifying.

“I was tipped as a medal hopeful by the media before the games but having that much time out just would hinder any athlete,” the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics flag carrier said.

“It was just a dream come true to be able to get to be able to compete and I was over-the moon with my qualifying place.

“However ultimately I was disappointed with how I did in the final but I’ve learnt from that experience and a successful athlete has to be able to move on after tough results.”

Katie started skiing aged six and was taken to the former Sheffield Ski village every Saturday with her sister Molly, by dad who saw the white slopes everyday while working at the top of the BT tower block in the city.

The 2014 World Youth Championship gold medalist trained at the facility up until it was burnt down in 2012, and believes the site should be re-opened to benefit the next generation.

“I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for those slopes, and it should definitely be re-opened because of what an amazing facility it is,” she said. “It had the best jumps in the country and was so accommodating for everyone – and not just elite athletes but for adults and kids who wanted a fun and exciting hobby.

“It’s the next generation that will suffer if the site is left to fall into wrack and ruin and it’s such a shame about what has happened to it – hopefully action will be taken.”

The Sheffield Ski village has also helped to produce many other Team GB’s top athletes, including Sochi 2014 Olympians James Woods, 22, James Machon 23 and Olympic snowboarders Zoe Gillings and Jamie Nicholls.