Safety game is not an option for ambitious Summerhayes

Katie Summerhayes says she has no intention of playing it safe this morning as she bids to continue making history for British snow sports.

Great Britain's Katie Summerhayes.

After Bradford’s Jamie Nicholls reached the final of the men’s snowboard slopestyle and Jenny Jones won a bronze in the women’s event, the world’s freeskiiers take centre stage in Sochi.

The first skiing slopestyle event takes place this morning with 18-year-old Summerhayes of Sheffield representing Great Britain in the qualifiers at 6am (British time) and, if she gets a fair wind, the final at 9am.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After spending much of the build-up to the Games recovering from a knee ligament injury that nearly ruined her chances, now she is in Sochi she has no intention of merely making up the numbers.

With slopestyle marks awarded for courage as much as anything else, Summerhayes said: “I don’t want to go to a competition and do something that everyone else is doing.

“I want to go and push it, that’s what I want to be known for in 20 years, someone who pushed the sport. I always try to do different things. If people are doing tricks, I want to change things up a little.

“I want to do stuff that people haven’t tried before. I’ve got a few tricks that I want to do in this Olympics.”

She did admit though that last night will have been a nervy one as the day of her Olympic destiny dawns.

“I do let the nerves build,” said Summerhayes, who learned to ski at Sheffield’s dry slopes.

“I kind of freak out, but as soon as I get out on the slopes I’m fine. It’s mainly the night before that the nerves hit me.

“My expectations are just to be happy with how I performed, that’s all you can ask for.

“But I really want to make the finals, that would be something I’d be happy with.”

Summerhayes’s training partner James Woods yesterday suffered an injury scare just days before his ski slopestyle campaign, although he is still expected to compete on Thursday.

Jack Whelbourne is determined to carry on in search of Winter Olympic glory in Sochi despite dramatically crashing to the ice in the 1,500 metres short track skating final and hurting his ankle.

The 22-year-old from Nottingham qualified from his semi-final in second place with a thrilling performance and deservedly took his place among the sport’s elite looking to bag Britain’s second medal of the Games.

Amid a deafening din in the Iceberg Skating Palace, Whelbourne pulled out all the stops in his bid to get to the front but a marker block got caught under his skates, sending him spinning to the surface and out of the race as Canada’s Charles Hamelin took gold.

Afterwards Whelbourne, who did not record an official time, limped into the media mixed zone with his right ankle strapped with ice.

However, after such encouraging performances in his heat – which he won – and in the semi-final, where he finished behind Hamelin, he is looking to be back in action for the 1,000m on Thursday before taking part in the 500m next week.