Top British medal hope Katie Ormerod is out of the Winter Olympics - just hours before the opening ceremony.
The Brighouse snowboarder suffered a minor wrist injury during the first day of training but posted a picture of herself in the cast and insisted she would compete this weekend.
But another fall today left her with a fractured heel, that requires immediate surgery in South Korea, and her Olympic dreams in tatters.
The 20-year old was considered one of Britain’s best medal hopes having been a regular on World Cup podiums in both slopestyle and big air events during the last 12 months.
Ormerod only just missed out on selection for the last Games due to injury and has consistently pushed the boundaries in her sport, perfecting a dizzying array of tricks.
She was the youngest girl to land a double backflip on a snowboard and the first to execute a fiendishly difficult backside double cork 1080.
And it’s not her first injury on the eve of a major competition - she missed last year’s World Championship after fracturing a vertebra in her back in pre-competition training.
“We are deeply sorry for Katie and her fellow snowboarders who have lost a valued member of their close-knit team,” said Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay.
“She is a world class competitor across both disciplines and we are desperately disappointed for her and wish her all the best for her recovery.”
Four years ago Jenny Jones won Britain’s first Olympic medal on snow in Ormerod’s event and hopes were high that the youngster could improve on that bronze.
She is one of the leading lights in a team dubbed the ‘fridge kids’ because they’ve learned their trade in Britain’s indoor snow domes.
“We are all devastated for Katie who was in strong form coming into the Olympics,” said British Skiing’s performance director Dan Hunt.
“She is a talented athlete and wonderful role model. At a young age she has already achieved highly within the sport, most recently with gold at the World Cup in Russia last year.
“Her determined and fearless nature will see her come back from this and reach the exciting potential and future that is ahead of her.
“We wish her all the best and with four park and pipe snowboarders competing, her teammates will now be giving their all for her as well as their nation over these Games.”
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