WINTER YOUTH OLYMPICS – FINAL DAY OF TEAM IRELAND ACTION
Irish first as Thomas Dooley competes in Dual Moguls
Representing Team Ireland in Dual Moguls, Thomas Dooley was the final athlete in action at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon, finishing eighteenth overall in the Freestyle Skiing event. This closed out the Irish participation in the event hosted by the Gangwon region in South Korea in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Winter Youth Olympics are held every four years, and this fourth edition took place from 19 January – 1 February.
The Moguls is a speed event run over a course with mounds of snow and two ramps. The athletes negotiate the course with their performance scores based on moguls technique, jump quality and speed. In the Dual Moguls, the skiers start side by side, and in Gangwon the round-robin group events ensured that all athletes had a minimum of four races.
Sixteen-year-old Dooley is one of the youngest athletes in the field, and in the opening rounds, he faced Australia, Korea, Japan and Canada, with only the top athlete progressing to the semi-finals. The Japanese athlete in his group, Takuta Nakamura, moved into the semi-finals and was the eventual bronze medal winner. Korea’s Yoon Seung Lee won the title, impressing the home crowd, as the top seed going into the event. Ireland’s Dooley was born in Brisbane, Australia and travels to Whistler, Canada, each winter, to train alongside his sister Claire, who is aiming for the Milano Cortina Olympics in 2026.
Speaking after the competition, Dooley described his tricks and performance, saying,
“At the top, I did a 360, it’s a spin that is 360 degrees upright in the air and then land. On the second ramp, I do a backflip cross, you go upside down, do a backflip and cross your skis in the air. It was good fun, I had two good runs and two not so good. Moguls is a small community, it is good to be friends with everyone, it makes it fun and a great experience.
This closed out competition for Team Ireland at the Winter Youth Olympics and a successful campaign for the team. Chef de Mission for the Irish team at the Games, Nancy Chillingworth, said,
“We are delighted to close out what has been a great week of competition for Team Ireland at the Winter Youth Olympics. There were plenty of firsts with Lily competing in Luge and Thomas in the Moguls, and we also saw some personal best performances from the team, with Finlay and Eábha performing strongly in Alpine Skiing. These Games are primarily about building experience for the athletes, and it was encouraging to see the maturity and professionalism of these athletes at this young age facing the biggest events in their careers to date. We look forward to following their progress over the coming years.”
The next major competition for Team Ireland is the Summer Olympic Games which take place in Paris from 26 July – 11 August. This year is the Centenary of Team Ireland competing at the Games.
Results 23 January
Thomas Dooley – Men’s Dual Slalom, 18th place
Overall results from Team Ireland from the Winter Youth Olympics
|Luge (W) – finished 27th
|Super G (W) finished 38th
|Super G (M) finished 36th
|Alpine Combined DNF
|Alpine Combined finished 33rd
|Giant Slalom (W) finished 26th
|Giant Slalom (M) finished 32nd
|Slalom (W) finished 33rd
|Slalom (M) finished 27th
|Dual Moguls (M) finished 18th