Beijing Winter Olympics: Ormerod turns focus to Big Air after missing out on slopestyle final

Brighouse snowboarder Katie Ormerod has missed out on a place in the Beijing Winter Olympics slopestyle final after finishing 19th in qualifying.

By Mark Berry
Saturday, 5th February 2022, 9:09 am
Updated Saturday, 5th February 2022, 9:10 am
Britain's Katie Ormerod competes in the snowboard women's slopestyle qualification run. Picture: Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images
Britain's Katie Ormerod competes in the snowboard women's slopestyle qualification run. Picture: Marco Bertorello/AFP via Getty Images

The 24-year-old was unable to secure a place in the top-12 positions and book her place in Sunday's final but she admitted to feeling "pure joy" after finally making her Olympics debut.

Four years ago, Ormerod arrived in PyeongChang as a much touted contender, only to fracture her wrist and then break her heel, watching the Olympics from a hospital bed in Seoul.

She spent 18 months in rehab, admitting dark times with her only target just to walk again without pain.

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"I've been waiting a really long time for this moment, to drop in and compete in an Olympic Games," she said.

"I was stood at the top before my first run when I was about to drop in and I was like, 'wow, this is my moment, I've become an Olympian finally.'

“It was really special and just to land that first run and get down, I've never felt a feeling like that. It was pure joy, and I'm so proud of myself for everything I've gone through, to finally get there.

"It's been awesome being out here. You definitely know you're at the Olympics - the Olympic vibe is high. To finally drop in and know I'm an Olympian now, that means everything."

Jenny Jones, who won Britain' s first Olympic medal on snow in the discipline eight years ago, insists Ormerod - a gymnast who turned to snowboarder on her local dry slope in Halifax - should be proud.

"When you look back at everything she's been through, that she's here and competing injury-free is remarkable," she said.

"She was in a hospital bed four years ago, now she's an Olympian and she's only 24. She can hold her head very high."

It wouldn't take much for Ormerod to be a three-time Olympian but she just missed the team as a teenager in 2014 and then suffered her injury four years later. Jones was 34 when she won her medal in Sochi, so Ormerod can look to Milano-Cortina and beyond.

Ormerod, who competes again in the Big Air on February 14, broadcast live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app, did appear cautious on both her runs, admitting she found the artificial snow conditions and intimidating course more difficult than she expected.

"The conditions were okay but it's been very challenging in the training days, which meant that I needed the hour's training today to try and piece a run together," she added.

"It has been very difficult, I'm really proud I made it happen, made it work and I got a run down.

"I've got Big Air next, so I'm just going to rest in between and put all my focus into that."

Watch All the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app