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OLYMPIC SKIER RETIRES AS FUNDING RUNS OUT - Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Tuesday December 4, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Freestyle skier Molly Summerhayes can't afford to go on. There's huge sympathy & frustration at her plight.

 

 

The 21-year-old, who competed in freestyle skiing at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics alongside her older sister Katie, announced the decision on social media.

She said that without funding it was impossible for her to go on.

"With the season fast approaching, I would just like to say that my time as a competitive skier is now over," she said.

"For so long in the build up to the Olympics & before that was even a dream, I've relied very heavily on my mum & dad, working and grants from companies, charities and sponsors that allowed me to travel the world and compete in what I loved doing.

"But after the Olympics I came to find out I would still not qualify for funding and that answered all my questions to if I could carry on.

"Being part of the team has been amazing, but the way it was left after February left me feeling that I didn't belong there anymore and after how hard I worked with some setbacks it still wasn't enough."

Molly & Katie SummerhayesMolly & Katie Summerhayes - photo Team GB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly, who specialises in the halfpipe and finished 17th at the Winter Olympics, thanked everyone who helped her achieve dream of getting to Pyeongchang.

We reported on her crowdfunding efforts to get her to the Olympics:

Molly SummerhayesMolly Summerhayes at the Pyeongchang Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie, who is a funded athlete in the GB Park & Park squad, said she was heartbroken for her sister.

She is currently recovering from major knee surgery:

There's been an outpouring of sympathy for Molly on social media.

Here's some of the reaction over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

FB commentsReaction on Facebook















FB reactionReaction on Facebook






 










Our article has been widely shared on other social media pages.

Here's some more comments from the Elite Skiing Facebook group:

FB reactionReaction on Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Molly made her first turns at the age of four on the Sheffield dry slope.

She said skiing would always be a part of her life but it was now time to move on.

We wish her luck in whatever she chooses to do.

Molly SummerhayesMolly Summerhayes in 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can read her full statement on her Instagram post:

View this post on Instagram

I’m not one to normally write posts like this. But with the year I’ve had and all the support from family, friends, anyone and everyone it’s something I would like to tell people who followed me and gave me nothing but encouragement on this journey. With the season fast approaching, I would just like to say that my time as a competitive skier is now over. For so long in the build up to the Olympics & before that was even a dream, I’ve relied very heavily on my mum & dad, working and grants from companies, charities and sponsors that allowed me to travel the world and compete in what I loved doing. But after the Olympics I came to find out I would still not qualify for funding and that answered all my questions to if I could carry on. Being part of the team has been amazing, but the way it was left after February left me feeling that I didn’t belong there anymore and after how hard I worked with some setbacks it still wasn’t enough. The way things followed left me in tough frame out mind with what I actually wanted. Skiing will always, always be a part of my life, it’s all I have known since I started aged 4 with Katie, mum and dad on a plastic slope in Sheffield. But it’s time to find out what I want to do in the world and where I want to go without skiing being my main focus, but you haven’t seen the last of me on the hill. I just really really want to thank everyone who got me to where I was in February, the long 17 year journey. The highlight of my skiing career and my life. To everyone who funded my page, who watched and gave me encouragement and positivity through it all. I can’t thankyou enough. I’m so so sad that I’m writing this, but i achieved my dream aged 21, time to see what else I can do...

A post shared by Molly Summerhayes (@mollysummerhayes) on Dec 3, 2018 at 11:20am PST


Meanwhile another GB freestyle skiing sibling who is struggling to raise funds to compete this season has suffered a setback.

Slopestyle skier Mike Rowlands, older brother of Madi, has fractured his foot, as we report in our News in Brief (under Tuesday 4th December).

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

 

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