Katie Ormerod is one of the most exciting female slopestyle riders on the snowboarding scene right now. We got to chat to her about how she started out, competing in the Olympics, an accident that resulted in breaking her heel and what the future holds in our latest interview.
Hi Katie, it’s great to meet you! First off, we’d love to know when you first got the taste for snowboarding?
I first got the taste for Snowboarding when I was five years old as I got a Snowboard for Christmas. As soon as I started Snowboarding, I fell in love with the sport.
It’s amazing how a gift can change someones life. You’re known for going big on the kickers and pulling off some pretty technical tricks at competitions. Do you remember the first time successfully landed a trick growing up? How did it feel?
I remember Snowboarding with my Dad at my local dry slope in Halifax and he was helping me go over the big kicker… I went over it and landed it for the first time and it was the best feeling! It’s the same feeling that keeps me hungry to progress today.
Ah that sounds awesome. It’s clear that you’re hungry to push snowboarding to another level. So, when gearing up for big competitions, how much training do you have to do in order to prepare? Do you have a routine you follow?
All my training that I do all year round is preparing for competitions. Every competition has a different jump or Slopestyle course so I get a couple of days to practice on it and from that I will decide what tricks to do depending on how nice the course is.
Apart from the obvious physical training that goes into learning tricks and riding the course, what goes through your mind before you drop in for a competition run?
I always go through my run in my head before dropping in and keep breathing. I also like to get reassured by my coaches that I will be ok.
It seems to be quite a mental state that you need to be in when competing. We were all truly saddened when you had the accident and broke your heel at the last Olympics. How long has it taken for you to recover from that? Are you fully recovered / no more surgeries?
Breaking my heel at the Olympics was a really awful time. I had lots of complications and ended up having to have seven operations including putting two screws in it and a skin graft. I’m still recovering from it but so far it has been almost nine months. I’m nearly at the end of my rehab now, thankfully.
Wow. seven operations is a lot to go through. We’re glad you are getting back to the board now though! You’ve spent a long time off the mountain. When you’re not snowboarding, what do you like to do?
I’m a really active person in general, so I love going to the Gym and Gymnastics.
Being active is so important. With that being said, what advice would give for both kids starting off and also adults who want to give snowboarding a go for the first time?
I’d say definitely give it go because it’s such an exciting, adrenaline filled sport that anyone can do! Just have as much fun with it as possible. There are dry slopes and snow domes up and down the UK where you can get involved.
We’re amazed you’ve done so much and you’re still only 21, rocking the snowboard scene! What is next for you in your snowboarding career, any big goals?
I still feel like I’m at the start of my career, so there’s lots I want to accomplish. I just want to keep progressing, getting medals and challenging women’s Snowboarding. My next big short term goal is the next Olympics in Beijing 2022. I would still love to be able to put down my best run and show the world what I can do.
Katie Ormerod is sponsored by global action sports brand Roxy. Find out more about the latest Roxy Snow Collection at www.roxy-uk.co.uk/snow.