World Championships Silver Medalist Katie Summerhayes joined Olympic Snowboarder Ben Kilner at Snozone to inspire future Olympians one year on since the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The #InspiredbySochi weekend of events began with a freestyle competition on the Friday night with a record number turning out to ride with Sheffield-born Winter Olympian Katie Summerhayes and claim spot prizes for their impressive tricks in the park.
Fresh from winning her silver medal at the World Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships in Kreischberg, 19-year-old Katie Summerhayes arrived at Snozone Castleford and hit the slopes alongside her 17-year-old sister Molly Summerhayes. The slope was freshly groomed ahead of the 7pm reopening and filled immediately with skiers and boarders eager to practice their tricks in the park.
Double Winter Olympian Ben Kilner was on the judging panel of the freestyle competition, supported by Katie and Molly, who were dishing out giant sized notes to the most impressive freestylers of the night, along with personal feedback and coaching tips.
The aim of the night was to celebrate the success of our local talent at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and to inspire Winter Olympic stars of the future. These include Snozone’s Sponsored Riders; Haydyn Fiori, age 14, who achieved the youngest ever male podium in the British Slopestyle Championships at 13 years old, plus Molly Summerhayes who secured a respectable 11th at the recent World Championships and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her sister and represent Britain at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Ben, originally from Aberdeenshire, competes in the Snowboard Halfpipe and represented Great Britain at both the Sochi 2014 and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. Of his first days in the sport, Ben said, ‘I was always told I should get a real job but never let that put me off’.
Saturday’s action at Snozone included a slalom course where visitors could trial their speed against the best Olympic times; Moguls, another testing Olympic discipline; and a specially prepared freestyle park.
Ben himself was impressed with the vibrant freestyle scene at Snozone Castleford. With exceptional local talent like Katie and Molly, it’s no wonder Castleford hosts one of the most subscribed weekly freestyle events in the country.
Ben is looking forward to competing again next season on the road to Pyeongchang in 2018.
The Sochi Inspired Weekend, held at Snozone was also supported by Snowsport England.