Summerhayes proud to represent the white rose at Beijing 2022

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Summerhayes represented Team GB alongside sister Molly at PyeongChang 2018.
Summerhayes represented Team GB alongside sister Molly at PyeongChang 2018.

Freestyle flyer Katie Summerhayes is determined to do Yorkshire proud when she heads to her third Winter Olympic Games next month, writes Milly McEvoy.

The 26-year-old from Sheffield will represent Team GB in the women’s slopestyle and big air at Beijing 2022, having started her skiing on the city's dry slope.

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 and secure her spot on the podium.

“Obviously getting to represent Great Britain is something that always feels the same, it's always special,” said Summerhayes, who knows a medal would add to the 1,000-plus achieved by British athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding to elite sport in 1997.

“But I'm so proud to be from Sheffield, as well, 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.

“Being from the UK, we don't have mountains, we don't have snow, so every time I'm on skis, I try to make the most of it.

“Which I think is great because we don't take anything for granted. 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.”

The next time Summerhayes straps into her skis will be in Beijing - and the weeks away from the slopes won’t stop her from trying out some new tricks.

She added: “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.

The 26-year-old is promising some new tricks as she heads to her third Olympics
The 26-year-old is promising some new tricks as she heads to her third Olympics

“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.”

Summerhayes is one of over 1,000 who are able to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support thanks to vital National Lottery funding.

And she is acutely aware of the importance of the support, adding: “Without the National Lottery, I wouldn't be able to do what I do.

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

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

No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes including grassroots and elite sport. Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes

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