Katie Ormerod finally fulfilled her dream of becoming an Olympian but did not advance to the final of the women’s snowboard slopestyle final at Genting Snow Park.
The 24-year-old hovered in the 12th and final qualifying place after her first run but a worse score on her second run saw her slide seven places to 19th on the first full day of the Beijing Games.
Nevertheless it was a notable day for Ormerod, who had fallen on the eve of competition in Pyeongchang in 2018, shattering her heel and subsequently requiring seven operations and the insertion of two metal pins.
“I’ve been waiting a really long time for this moment to drop in and compete in an Olympic Games,” Ormerod said.
“I was stood at the top before my first run when I was about to drop in and I was like, ‘wow, this is my moment, I’ve become an Olympian finally’.
“It was a really special moment and just to land that first run and get down – I’ve never felt a feeling like that. It was pure joy, and I’m so proud of myself for everything I’ve gone through, to finally get there again.
“It’s been awesome being out here. You definitely know you’re at the Olympics – the Olympic vibe is high. To finally drop in and know I’m an Olympian now.”
Ormerod’s remarkable recovery culminated in five podium places in a truncated 2020 season which also saw her win the Crystal Globe as the overall World Cup leader.
Ormerod produced a cautious first run, nailing a straight flip but touching down on her final jump and scoring 47.38 to finish right on the brink of a place in Sunday’s final.
A mistake on a rail contributed a lower second score of 44.01 in her second run, and improvements by seven of her rivals, who had trailed the Briton after run one, ended her hopes of reaching the final.
New Zealand favourite Zoi Sadowski Synnott leads the field with a score of 86.75, with seven other athletes nailing scores of over 70.
Ormerod’s first Olympics are not over as she now switches her focus to the women’s Big Air competition which will take place in Beijing next week.