Katie Ormerod ‘gutted’ as fractured heel causes Olympic heartbreak

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Snowboarder Katie Ormerod is out of the Winter Olympics after suffering a fractured heel and “the most bad luck I’ve ever had”.

The 20-year-old Brighouse rider sustained a fractured wrist on Wednesday’s first day of slopestyle training, but returned on Thursday, intent on competing on Sunday.

However, on Friday morning in Pyeongchang she was preparing to undergo surgery on her heel, which she has broken into two pieces, before returning home.

“Yesterday sucked,” Ormerod wrote on Instagram, alongside pictures of her in her hospital bed.

“After dreaming of competing at the Olympics for years, I finally got there and received the most bad luck I’ve ever had!

“After breaking my wrist on the first training day I was determined to still train, compete and do my best but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

“I severely broke my heel into 2 pieces so having surgery in a couple of hours to get it fixed.

“Words can’t describe how gutted I am but thank you to everyone for all your support and kind words!!

“Also a massive good luck to my team mates competing this weekend…you guys better kill it!”

Katie Ormerod had been due to compete in slopestyle and Big Air at her first Olympic Games
Katie Ormerod had been due to compete in slopestyle and Big Air at her first Olympic Games (Mike Egerton/PA)

The 2018 Games, which open on Friday, are Ormerod’s first Olympics and she was scheduled to compete in two events, slopestyle and Big Air.

There was plenty of expectation on her after her World Cup and X-Games medals in recent seasons, but now her Olympics are over before they have begun.

Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay said: “We are deeply sorry for Katie and her fellow snowboarders who have lost a valued member of their close-knit team.

“She is a world-class competitor across both disciplines and we are desperately disappointed for her.

“From everyone at Team GB we wish her all the best for her recovery.”

Katie Ormerod has suffered many injuries, including a fractured back
Ormerod has suffered many injuries, including a fractured back (Tim Goode/PA)

British Ski and Snowboard performance director Dan Hunt said: “We are all devastated for Katie who was in strong form coming into the Olympics.

“Her determined and fearless nature will see her come back from this and reach the exciting potential and future that is ahead of her.”

Slopestyle features rails and kickers, or jumps, on which the riders perform tricks, while the Big Air event comprises a single jump and one trick and is new for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

The risk of injury is inherent.

Ormerod fractured a bone in her back in March 2017, but she made a rapid recovery.

Ormerod outlined the injuries she has suffered in pursuit of excellence in a pre-Games preview with the BBC. She has snapped her anterior cruciate knee ligament, damaged the meniscus in both knees, fractured her shoulder and both arms, as well as her back.

“The injuries don’t bother me – I just keep coming back stronger,” she told the BBC.

The latest injuries have come too close to competition, ending her dream of competing at the Games.

Speaking on Wednesday, prior to her wrist injury being disclosed, Ormerod said her focus was on the rush from executing the acrobatic tricks.

She told Press Association Sport: “It is an extreme sport, so it can be quite scary sometimes, especially when you’re going over jumps as big as houses.

“I just think about all the positives and don’t think about the negatives, because that’s when something bad might happen.”