Two Irish athletes will be setting the pace for a jam packed year of Olympic sport, when they compete for Team Ireland in the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland in January. The Lausanne 2020 Games run from the 9 – 22 January, and the Irish interest will be in Alpine Skiing where Matt Ryan and Emma Austin will be taking to the slopes from the 10-14 January.

For the first time these Games will not only be a sustainable event, they will trial a wave system. The sports are divided into two groups or waves of athletes, meaning that there will not be a point where all the athletes will be in the village at the same time. Both Ryan and Austin are competing in the first wave, and both will race at Les Diablerets Alpine Skiing Centre, two hours from Lausanne in the Slalom and Giant Slalom and Ryan will also compete in the Super – G.

Massachusetts born Ryan competed for Team Ireland last February in the Winter EYOF in Sarajevo & East Sarajevo, qualifying for the second run in the Slalom, and finishing 25th out of 104 starters, and fifth in his age group. Meanwhile, Austin will be making her multi-sport debut at Lausanne 2020, and has competed internationally at both Alpine Skiing and Lacrosse.

Announcing the team, Olympic Federation of Ireland Chef de Mission for the Winter Youth Olympic Games, Nancy Chillingworth said,

“We have a small but strong team coming to Lausanne in January, and I’m really excited about what both Matt and Emma can do out there. Matt raced last year in the EYOF in Sarajevo and brings with him a lot of experience and determination in his final year in the junior ranks. Emma also brings an interesting range of experience, with both international experience in Skiing and in Lacrosse. I’m looking forward to working with them both.”

Peter Sherrard, Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO said,

“On behalf of the OFI I would like to wish both Matt and Emma the best of luck in their competitions at the Winter Youth Olympics. These Games are an incredibly important steppingstone in the sports careers of young athletes, and I urge them both to soak up the experience and to enjoy them. The Youth Olympics are a unique Games where new concepts are trialled by the IOC, and it is exciting for young athletes to be part of that.”

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.



Matt Ryan

Super – G, Giant Slalom, Slalom

Emma Austin


Giant Slalom, Slalom



Chef de Mission

Nancy Chillingworth


Team Manager

Derek Bolger



Alain Untergassmair


Approximate Team Ireland Schedule

Opening Ceremony All Evening 9 January 2020
Super G (men) Matt Ryan 12:30 10 January 2020
Giant Slalom (women) Emma Austin 09:00 12 January 2020
Giant Slalom (men) Matt Ryan 09:00 13 January 2020
Slalom (women) Emma Austin 08:30 14 January 2020
Slalom (men) Matt Ryan 10:00 14 January 2020




Matt Ryan Massachusetts, USA 17 years Waterville Valley Academy
Emma Austin New Hampshire, USA 17 years GMVS





© 2020 Olympic Federation of Ireland.
Registered in Dublin No. 82262.
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