Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Devastation Is Tempered by Pride for Gritty Katie

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Devastation Is Tempered by Pride for Gritty Katie

Article excerpt

KATIE Summerhayes was "really gutted" to finish outside of the podium places in the Winter Olympics ski slopestyle, but proud she could prove the doubters wrong by competing in the first place.

The teenager finished seventh in the final of the discipline, which was making its Olympic debut in Sochi, something of a disappointment after she qualified in third for the showpiece event with two impressive runs. Immediately afterwards, a tearful Summerhayes said: "I'm gutted, I'm really gutted."

But the fact she was able to participate at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park is extraordinary.

In March 2012, she sustained a career-threatening knee injury, which would require reconstructive surgery, while a recurrence of the same problem only last April needed an exploratory operation.

With the Olympics 10 months away, many doubted Summerhayes would be ready.

She bounced back by earning a silver medal in a World Cup event for the second time last month and a top-10 finish yesterday will give her satisfaction in the long run.

"It's been extremely tough, actually, but my whole goal was to get to the final of the Olympics," she said.

"Everyone told me that I couldn't do it, I just proved them wrong. That was one of the big things.

"So many people on the way were like 'it's going to be tough', but I'm here."

She insists she will be back as well, and may not be the only Summerhayes there, with younger sister Molly also keen on making it to Pyeongchang in 2018.

"That's me and my sister's plan, it would be amazing," said the elder Summerhayes.

"We haven't actually skied together for a while because of my injury but when we grew up we had so much fun skiing." Summerhayes appeared to be on course for Britain's second medal of the Games - following Jenny Jones' historic bronze in the snowboard equivalent on Sunday - after finishing third in the morning's quali-fiers.

But in the afternoon, the 18-yearold fell over after failing to land her first jump, while she made several smaller errors second time around. …

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