Winter joy for Summerhayes

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SHEFFIELD freestyle skiing star Katie Summerhayes has spoken of her delight at being selected for the first ever winter Youth Olympic Games.

The British Olympic Association announced yesterday 23 young athletes from nine winter Olympic disciplines selected to compete for Great Britain at Games, which takes place in Innsbruck, Austria, from January 13-22 2012.

Katie, aged 16, said: “I am so happy that I have the chance to compete at the Youth Olympic Games in January. It means so much to me to be able to compete for Team GB and to experience everything else around it.

“I have been training really hard over the summer to gain the best result that I can and it is going to be a dream come true.”

The Team GB delegation will be led by Chef de Mission Sir Clive Woodward and the event will see Team GB’s athletes, aged 14-18, compete alongside over 1,000 of the best young winter sport athletes from around the world in all seven sports on the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games programme.

Woodward said: “I am hugely excited to be leading a team of 23 very talented and ambitious young winter athletes to the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.

“I have no doubt that Team GB’s athletes will compete with great skill and pride to produce some thrilling performances.

“Critically, the experience the young athletes will gain in Innsbruck goes well beyond the sporting competition.”

Other local athletes who have been selected are Kirsten Emery from Dronfield in the bobsleigh and Rotherham’s Millie Paterson in figure skating.