Izzy Atkin Becomes The First Ever British Skier To Win An Olympic Medal
It seems teen sprit is served in double measures here in PyeongChang.
Izzy Atkin became the first British skier to win an Olympic medal with a brilliant slopestyle performance and nerveless bronze this morning.
The 19-year old is the youngest member of Team GB in South Korea but she kept her cool in a dramatic and tense final.
A bronze medallist at last year’s World Championship and a World Cup winner, the teenager was always considered one of the team’s top medal prospects.
And she delivered under extreme pressure, recovering from an error on her first qualifying run to reach the final in nerveless style.
She was lying fourth when she set off on her third and final run in the final but she scored 84.60 points to move into the podium places.
And then, in a virtual repeat of snowboarder Jenny Jones’s bronze in Sochi four years ago, she endured a tense wait for another three skiers to complete their runs, including world silver medallist, Sweden’s Emma Dahlström.
But Atkin’s score was enough to claim a podium place, as Switzerland's Sarah Hoefflin won gold and compatriot Mathilde Gremaud took silver.
It’s Team GB’s second consecutive Olympic medal on snow but a first on skis - Gina Hathorn finishing fourth in the women’s slalom at the 1968 Games in Grenoble.
"I'm just relieved and really happy, it’s overwhelming.
"There were tons of big names in the field, it could have been anyone's medal.
"I knew I'd skied the best I could and I was just waiting for the last girls to drop. My heart was racing and I couldn't believe it.
“Watching the last few runs, I was really nervous. I wanted them to do well because we're all friends but also for me, it worked out.
"I'm speechless and stoked to win the bronze and represent Great Britain.”
Katie Summerhayes also made a second consecutive Olympic final, finishing seventh - the same result as four years ago in Sochi.
But the 22-year old from Sheffield has endured a nightmare build-up with injuries, including a serious ankle ligament problem which was aggravated by a fall before today's competition.
“I definitely thought I wouldn’t be able to drop in as my ankle was so sore.
“Up until this week I hadn’t completed a slopestyle course since November, so this is my return to snow. In qualification I had to keep it pretty mellow and my ankle was killing me.
“I went up for the finals and decided to push it a bit more because I wanted to do myself justice. I had a crash in training this morning. However, this is the Olympics and I wanted to compete.
“I’m still disappointed because I wanted to do better.”
PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR: Watch James Woods try to follow Izzy’s lead in the men’s slopestyle, live on Eurosport 1 tomorrow at 1am. Don’t miss a moment of the Olympic Winter Games at Eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app.
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