10 April 2014 12:57
Katie Ormerod
Katie Ormerod -

The first ever British female snowboarder to bring home a medal in 18 years of FIS Snowboard Junior World Championships (slopestyle Bronze in Valmalenco 2014) couldn't be in Sochi herself, but says she still felt the buzz surrounding her slopestyle sport back in the UK.

The 16-year-old snowboarder missed out on qualification to the Team GB squad after a season in which she underwent knee surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus.

But the youngster from Bradford is putting that disappointment behind her and is focussing her Olympic aspirations on Pyeongchang.

Ormerod is described by fellow boarder Ben Kilner as Team GB's secret weapon for 2018, and she hopes that the success of the slopestyle in Sochi will inspire more people of her age to take up the sport.

"I watched all of the snowboarding from Sochi," she said. "It’s really motivated me now to try hard in training so I can’t wait to get back out on the board.

There aren’t that many people my age in the UK who snowboard as it’s quite a small community. 

I think now that the Olympics has been so successful back here there will be more people who start to try it. 

In other countries there are quite a few people who are my age and competing in the World Cup events."

Despite her young age and diminutive stature, Ormerod is no stranger to the rest of the girls on the snowboarding circuit.

In 2013, aged 15, she became the youngest female to land a double backflip.

And Ormerod feels that it is important that she keeps herself on the cutting edge of women's snowboarding as her career progresses.

"I was really happy when I landed the double backflip," she said.

"I really want to progress women’s snowboarding and I think that helped. There are more girls wanting to try doubles and learn tricks like that, so it’s really enhanced the progression.

The level is definitely higher now [after Sochi]. There were a couple of riders who tried 1080 spins, which is a trick that not many girls can do.“

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