Winter sports news - Molly Summerhayes retires at 21 due to lack of funding
Olympic freestyle skiier Molly Summerhayes has announced her retirement at the age of 21 after learning she would continue to not receive funding.
Summerhayes, the youngster sister of fellow Olympic skier Katie, was the world junior champion in 2015 and finished 17th at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games earlier this year.
However in a post on Monday evening on her social media channels Summerhayes confirmed that ahead of the new season she would be retiring from the sport.
She said competing at the Olympics fulfilled "a dream" but she cannot carry on while she continues to not receive funding.
"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.
Molly Summerhayes of Great Britain looks on during the Freestyle Skiing Ladies' Ski Halfpipe Qualification on day 10 of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 19, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.Getty Images
"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."
Summerhayes ruptured her knee ligaments in 2016 and had to spend a year in rehab and continued to fund herself despite being selected to be part of the Olympic set-up for Pyeongchang.
Great Britain's Molly Summerhayes competes in the women's ski halfpipe qualification event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Phoenix Park in Pyeongchang on February 19, 2018.Getty Images
"Skiing will always, always be a part of my life, it’s all I have known since I started aged four with Katie, mum and dad on a plastic slope in Sheffield." Summerhayes added.
"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 thank you 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.."