The ‘Fridge Kids’ are back and their ranks are swelling.
Yorkshire’s band of freestyle skiers and snowboarders who shot to prominence at the Winter Olympics in Sochi last February, have world titles to chase over the next 12 days in Kreischberg, Austria.
Great Britain is sending a team of 21 to the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, five of whom trained on the dry ski slopes of the White Rose county and two of which come from the same home.
Katie Summerhayes, an Olympic finalist in skiing slopestyle in Sochi last year, will be joined in Austria over the next fortnight by her younger sister, Molly.
The 17-year-old competes in the skiing halfpipe, the qualification for which takes place next Wednesday, with the final 24 hours later.
Katie, now 19, and part of the British team known throughout the winter sports fraternity as the ‘Fridge Kids’ because they learned on dry slopes, begins her bid to finish better than the seventh she managed in Sochi, next Tuesday.
“What more could a dad wish for, having two daughters representing Team GB in a world championships,” said their father, Richard.
“The pair of them have done so well to get this far.
“The results that Katie and a lot of the Brits achieved in Sochi secured funding for the next four years and enabled those guys to continue their progression.
“Katie is now full-time and fully funded. We’re still helping Molly as much as we can but she’s doing really well.
“Like Katie and the others, she grew up on the Sheffield dry ski slope which had a great slopestyle arena. Sheffield also had the only halfpipe in Britain at the time, so she did a lot on that as well. However, she only started taking halfpipe seriously last March at an international competition, and secured enough points in events to earn an invite to the world championships.”
The Summerhayes are joined in Austria by Bradford’s Jamie Nicholls, who learned his art at Halifax’s dry ski slope.
The 21-year-old placed sixth in the Olympic final 11 months ago and goes for glory in both the snowboard slopestyle and ‘big air’ competitions next week.
Two more Sheffield Sharks Ski Club alumni are also in action next week; Olympian James Machon in the ski halfpipe and Ellie Koyander, from Chesterfield, in the moguls. James Woods is absent as he is competing in the X Games in Aspen.
Leeds-based Zoe Gillings-Brier, a three-time Olympian, contests the snowboard cross event from tomorrow.