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Katie Ormerod ‘gutted’ not to show off new trick as snowboarder’s Games ends in defeat



BEIJING – Katie Ormerod isn’t used to feeling powerless on a snowboard.

Aged 16, she came from nowhere to become the first female rider in the world to land a double backflip.

When her Olympic debut finally came around – eight years later and four years late – Ormerod was left to watch peers push the game forward without her.

The 24-year-old fell on two of three jumps in Big Air qualification, finished 25th and failed to make the final for the second time in Beijing having also missed out in slopestyle.

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“I don’t usually fall in Big Air,” Ormerod said. “I knew I could do these tricks, these are the ones I usually do. I knew I needed the 900 to go into the finals but I struggled with it all week.

“I just couldn’t clear it very well, it’s been tough.

“When I first looked at [the ramp] I was so relieved, as it looked great. But then when I started training I was going as fast as I could and still struggling to get deep enough.

“I spoke to my coach and we did everything we could. I just wasn’t quick enough and it’s a shame.”

Lest we forget that Ormerod had to learn to walk again after splitting her heel clean in two on the eve of PyeongChang 2018. It was an injury that would have finished most careers.

The Olympic-sized conundrum remains that 720 jumps are not normally a problem for a rider who has made five World Cup finals in Big Air since returning from injury.

In fact, Ormerod planned to use the Games to take the wraps off a more complex pair of 2.5 twists for the first time in Big Air competition.

“Women’s snowboarding right now is so exciting to be a part of, it’s progressing every year,” added Ormerod.

“It’s exciting to be a part of that and I want to keep up with that and I have been doing. It takes a lot of hard work.

“That’s why I was gutted – I wanted to showcase that new trick here. But because of how the training days went, I couldn’t clear it and I’m a bit gutted about that.”

Ormerod’s Olympic story isn’t over with Milano Cortina in 2026 now on the mind. Reigning champion Anna Gasser is mounting a spirited defence of her title at 30.

But the top three qualifiers here and the real trend-setters are all 20 or under, namely Zoe Sadowski-Synott and 17-year-old Japanese Kokomo Murase.

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Ormerod must have seen her fearless 16-year-old self flash before her eyes – and realise that she’s been through too much to get back there again.

“It’s a shame that my results don’t reflect the kind of snowboarding I do,” said Ormerod. “Just a few weeks ago, I came fourth against the same girls in slopestyle.

“It’s just how it goes – some courses suit me better than others, sometimes it’s just how it goes.

“I’m hoping that people will see the other results that I’ve got over the last four years and be proud of that as well.”

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