The winter edition of the 2021 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) has been postponed from February to December to safeguard all those involved in the event – in particular the young athletes – during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) agreed to the decision today together with the local organisers of the Vuokatti 2021 EYOF. The new dates for the continent’s leading multi-sport event for athletes aged 14-18 are 11-18 December.

“This was by no means an easy decision to take,” said EOC Acting President Niels Nygaard. “For many months now we had hoped against hope that the pandemic would improve enough to safely host Vuokatti 2021 on schedule. Sadly, it was not to be, but postponing the EYOF to December means that the vast majority of the athletes who were looking forward to competing in February will still be able to participate later in the year.”


Some 1,800 athletes from 48 European National Olympic Committees were expected to take part in nine sports disciplines from 6-13 February next year prior to the postponement. On the sports programme are alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, snowboarding, cross country skiing, ski jumping, short track, figure skating and Nordic combined. With the inclusion of girls’ ice hockey, Vuokatti stands poised to become the most gender-balanced in the event’s history.

“Flexibility will be the key,” said EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi. “Rest assured that we will do all we can for the competitors affected, and I am sure that, together with our partners, we will organise a fantastic European Youth Olympic Festival for Finland and for all the young athletes of Europe.”

EOC Sports Director Peter Brüll is in full contact with the International Federations. “Together with the IFs, we are now discussing possible adaptations of the sports programme,” Brüll said.

As the number of new COVID-19 cases edges ever closer to its spring peak in Europe and with no end to the pandemic in sight, it was agreed that the best solution would be to reschedule the event.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation does not allow for the EYOF to be held as planned,” said Mikko Salonen, CEO of the Finnish Olympic Committee. “The most important thing for us is to ensure the safety of the young athletes, and that is not yet possible in February 2021.”

Chair of the Local Organising Committee and Mayor of Sotkamo, Mika Kilpeläinen, added that various contingency plans had already been planned for in Kainuu, the region where the competitions were set to take place, at the onset of the pandemic earlier this year. In the end, however, Kilpeläinen said the rescheduling of the EYOF was the only way forward.

“We want to be responsible and act with health in mind,” he said. “Therefore, postponing the event is the only solution. The timing will bring its own challenges to the arrangements, but our promise continues, and we will prepare with the same determination and commitment as earlier. Our goal is to host the best EYOF event of all time here in Vuokatti and Kajaani.”

The urban area of Vuokatti, in the municipality of Sotkamo, will host alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, figure skating, short track and snowboarding. The city of Kajaani will host the ice hockey events.

Senegal and the IOC agree to postpone the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2022 to 2026

Senegal and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have mutually agreed to postpone the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2022 to 2026.

President Macky Sall's proposal was welcomed by IOC President Thomas Bach, following in-depth discussions on the subject. This postponement meets the requirement of responsibility and the concern for efficiency imposed by current circumstances.

The postponement of Dakar 2022 allows the IOC, the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the International Federations (IFs) to better plan their activities, which have been strongly affected by the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, by the subsequent postponements of major international sports events, and by the operational and financial consequences of the global health crisis.

At the same time, it allows Senegal to carry on the excellent preparations for the Youth Olympic Games. The two leaders, who praised the progress made so far, have jointly renewed their confidence in Dakar 2022 President Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, IOC Member in Senegal, and both remain fully committed to the great success of these Youth Olympic Games, the first Olympic event ever to be organised in Africa.

The IOC and Senegal understand that this news will be disappointing for many young athletes. Both parties can only appeal to their understanding. This agreement results from the large scale of the operational challenges which the IOC, the NOCs and the IFs are facing following the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. With this in mind, the IOC will continue to offer all IFs and NOC Continental Associations the full content of the educational programmes of the Youth Olympic Games. This will allow for the objectives of this very important and much-appreciated component of the YOG to be maintained through the many events organised between now and 2026, in particular during the Continental Youth Games.

“This amicable agreement illustrates the mutual trust between Senegal and the IOC. I would like to express my sincere thanks to President Macky Sall, a great friend and supporter of the Olympic Movement, for this exceptional relationship of trust and quality. For all these reasons, I am sure that, together, we will organise fantastic Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026 for Senegal, the entire African continent and all the young athletes of the world,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

“I would like to reiterate that the IOC has my full support for the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games, postponed to 2026. I take this opportunity to reaffirm my confidence in the Executive Board and welcome the commitment of its teams, working side by side with us, to make Dakar 2026, the first Olympic event in Africa, a successful and memorable occasion”, said President Macky Sall.

The agreement was approved today by the IOC Executive Board, and will be submitted to the IOC Session for ratification this Friday, 17 July 2020.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) today approved the period of 22 October to 9 November 2022 for the 4th edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Dakar 2022. It will be the first Olympic event on the African continent.

The YOG period was chosen following an extensive consultation with the National Olympic Committees, International Federations and the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

For the large majority of athletes, the proposal better suits the school curriculum. From a climate standpoint, the YOG will take place at the beginning of the dry season. And for Dakar and Senegal, the dates coincide with Africa Youth Day (1 November), which is an important milestone in the calendar – school pupils will have more time to participate and contribute.

The IOC EB also approved the request from the Dakar 2022 Organising Committee to add baseball5 and wushu to the sports programme. This was examined by the Olympic Programme Commission, which deemed both sports an excellent opportunity to further increase the offering of youth-focused sports for the benefit of the Senegalese youth. Engagement of Senegal’s young population in sport remains a key pillar of Dakar 2022’s vision for the YOG.

Furthermore, the addition has the potential to further develop these two exciting sports in Africa, supported by comprehensive and well-resourced development programmes put in place with the two respective International Federations.

The inclusion of baseball5, along with the already-approved breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing, means that all sports from the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Organising Committees’ proposals are now included in the Dakar 2022 programme.

The Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Dakar 2022, Kirsty Coventry, said: “Preparations for the first Olympic event on the African continent are progressing rapidly and well on track. The first Coordination Commission meeting was successfully held in Dakar at the end of October last year, and we have reached important milestones with the two decisions today. With the dates and the sports programme confirmed, teams and athletes now have crucial information to refine their planning and aspire to take part in a historical event.”

Baseball5 has been approved for the programme as the youthful and new urban version of baseball/softball. The inclusion makes it the first Olympic team sport to be mixed gender, with four women and four men competing together for the medals. It is a sport that has been developed to be practised anywhere, and the World Baseball Softball Confederation has included a dedicated focus on Africa, with development and legacy plans in place.

This will be the first time that wushu has been included in the YOG sports programme, although it appeared at Nanjing 2014 as part of the Sports Lab activation. There will be two men’s and two women’s events on the programme. It is a popular youth-focused combat sport, with 120 million practitioners worldwide, and featured on the All-Africa Youth Games programme in 2018. The International Wushu Federation has 39 national federations in the African continent, with approximately 3 million athletes practising the sport according to the International Federation.

As per the full programme, the events and athlete quotas for the new sports are gender balanced, and capitalise on the two-wave-of-athletes approach to increase efficiency in the Athletes’ Village.

Although detailed venue planning discussions are due to take place with the relevant stakeholders, the events will take place in existing venues in order to optimise infrastructures and facilities. The Centre International de Conférences Abdou Diouf has been provisionally identified as the ideal location for both sports. The facility is 10 minutes from the Youth Olympic Village, adjacent to the Dakar Expo centre, and also hosts the archery field.

There were mixed fortunes for Team Ireland in the Slalom at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne today, with Emma Austin finishing in a strong twenty-eighth position out of 78 starters with a time of 1:42.02 and Matt Ryan being recorded as a DNF. This was the preferred event for both athletes, who were competing on day five of the competition, and on the final day of action for Ireland.

Austin started the day strongly by bettering her seeded starting position of 51 with a 35th place and time of 51.66. In the Slalom there are two runs, with the overall being based on the combined total of the time it takes to complete both runs. A clean second run secured 28th for the Irish racer, with a time of 1:42.02.

“It was really fun, much better than my first run, I think. I was a little less off the pace than I was in the first run,” the New Hampshire racer said after the race. “I was in the game, it was a good run, it was fun, and it was good to end with a top thirty.”

After the first run the course is switched around to optimise the good snow, as the impact of almost 80 racers having already come down results in ruts on the course. However, they keep the combinations much the same, “this course was basically the same, with different combinations, different types of turns, and I think I just skied it better the second time because I was ready for it and used to it.”

Out of 78 entries in the Slalom, there were only 37 finishers, and Austin’s initial emotion was relief, “It feels really good – unfortunately Matt DNF-ed today which was upsetting and disappointing, so I really wanted to put one down for Ireland in it.”

In the men’s event Ryan looked set for a good position, with a good opening section, but went a millimetre out on the first roll and straddled a pole, which caused one of his skis to come off and resulted in a DNF for the Irishman.

Describing the chain of events, Ryan said, “I felt the course was going well up top, there were a couple of tight gates up top, and then on to a hairpin. Then I swung decently in the first pitch to the first roll, and the ski just popped off halfway through, so it is what it is.”

The Slalom was Ryan’s target event, and his form last Saturday in the Alpine Combined Slalom indicated that he was on course for a top twenty result, with the top ten his personal goal, and already he is looking ahead to the rest of the season, “I’m pretty disappointed right now, I’ve worked really hard for this event. I was hoping for better things, but it moves on. I’m heading back to the US looking for some good results there, so I’ll be back at it and good to go. I’ve got time.”

The slopes in Les Diablerets were challenging, with all events in Alpine Skiing featuring a high number of DNFs, and the Irish athletes suffered a share of those non-finisher results. After the first run today, Austin described the Slalom course as demanding, “The course is extremely demanding. I’m happy I finished because five girls after me didn’t, so I’m happy I got down and I have a second run.

“They set the course as turny as humanly possible. Basically, there’s not much space in between the gates, and there’s really bad offset, meaning they are on opposite sides of the hill pretty much. I was watching the live feed before I went out for my run and a bunch of the top girls were really struggling. So, I knew what to look out for and I tried my best, but it’s definitely very turny and very demanding.”

This was the final day of competition for Team Ireland, with the highlights being two top thirty finishes. Matt Ryan was twenty-fifth in the Alpine Combined, and Emma Austin was twenty-eighth in today’s Slalom.

They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets. The competition runs from the 9-22 January, with two waves of competition, and thus two waves of athletes coming into the village.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.

Footage from competition at the Youth Olympics can be found on the LAUSANNE 2020 website and on the OLYMPIC CHANNEL.

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.

 

RESULTS

WOMEN’S SLALOM

Gold Emma Sahlin (Sweden) 1:29.82

Silver Lena Volken (Switzerland) 1:30.00

Bronze Lara Klein (Germany) 1:30.25

28th Emma Austin (Ireland) 1:42.02

 

MEN’S SLALOM

Gold Adam Hofstedt (Sweden) 1:16.10

Silver Luc Roduit (Switzerland) 1:17.42

Bronze Edoardo Saracco (Italian) 1:17.78

DNF Matt Ryan (Ireland)

 

In the men’s event Ryan looked set for a good position, with a good opening section, but went a millimetre out on the first roll and straddled a pole, and one of his skis came off.

Describing the chain of events, Ryan said, “I felt the course was going well up top, there were a couple of tight gates up top, and then on to a hairpin. Then I swung decently in the first pitch to the first roll, and the ski just popped off halfway through, so it is what it is.”

The Slalom was Ryan’s target event, and his form last Saturday in the Alpine Combined Slalom indicated that he was on course for a top twenty result, with the top ten his personal goal, and already he is looking ahead to the rest of the season, “I’m pretty disappointed right now, I’ve worked really hard for this event. I was hoping for better things, but it moves on. I’m heading back to the US looking for some good results there, so I’ll be back at it and good to go. I’ve got time.”

 

A good clean first run in the Slalom for Emma Austin netted a 35th place ranking with 51.66 seconds as she moves into the second run later today. This is the fifth day of competition for Team Ireland at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, and both Irish athletes will be in action today.

Austin started today’s competition as 51st starter in the seeded first run, and was happy with her race, and relieved to be in a strong position in the second run later today.

Speaking after her race she said, “I was hoping I could do a little better, but it is what it is. I had an okay run, I had quite a few spots where I got really behind. The course is extremely demanding. I’m happy I finished because five girls after me didn’t so I’m happy I got down and I have a second run. Now that I have a full run under my feet for the first time in this Olympics, I’m excited and ready to get going.

“They set the course as turny as humanly possible. Basically, there’s not much space in between the gates, and there’s really bad offset, meaning they are on opposite sides of the hill pretty much. I was watching the live feed before I went out for my run and a bunch of the top girls were really struggling. So, I knew what to look out for and I tried my best, but it’s definitely very turny and very demanding.

“It was advantageous for me to be able to sit in the lodge and watch and see what to look out for because I definitely needed to know, otherwise I would have gone into that course totally attacking and not thinking about anything.”

Next on the course is Matt Ryan in his first run, wearing bib number 25. His competition commences at 10:00 Irish time.

 

Following a strong top thirty run earlier this day, Matt Ryan was a DNF in the second run of the Giant Slalom today, after a crash dashed his hopes at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne.

Earlier today Ryan clocked a fast time of 1.06.80, which had him ranked 28th going into the second run and confirmed him as the third starter. By the second split on the second run Ryan’s time indicated he was pushing a top twenty position until he clipped a gate and crash out.

The event was won by Philip Hoffmann (AUT) with 2.06.31, with Swiss skiers Sandro Zurbruegg and Luc Roduit taking silver and bronze. The overall finish position of athletes in the Giant Slalom is based on the combined scores of the first and second run.

“I had a good run going up top, I skied the top flat well. Then down through the pitch I skied pretty well. I just got a little low on some of the gates and clipped one of the gates with my skies and had a little crash. It’s a little bit sore on my quad, but it will be fine tomorrow,” Ryan explained after the crash in an event which saw 22 people DNF between the two runs.

Already the seventeen-year-old has his sights set on a good performance tomorrow in the Slalom, “I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow, so I’ll get back on it and be ready for it tomorrow. I had a good run in the Alpine Combined Slalom so I’m excited for the slalom, it’s my favourite event,” added Ryan, who was the seventeenth fastest racer in the Alpine Combined Slalom on Saturday, which netted an overall placing of twenty-five.

Earlier today the Waterville Valley Academy racer had a clean fast run, which ensured he was a high starter this afternoon.

The course has been consistently icy this week, and Ryan needed to register a score in his first race in order to move to the second run. His finish position meant that he was the third starter later. The top thirty in the first run are ‘flipped’ going into the second run, which means that the skier who finished first in the first run was the thirtieth starter for the second, and the thirtieth finisher started first.

In the Giant Slalom, sixty of the seventy-seven starters moved into the second run, with most of the slips earlier today occurring towards the bottom of the course. Describing the course after the first run Ryan said,

“Up top it was pretty straight, not too turny, so I tried to push the line up there. Coming onto the pitch it started to tighten up and swing a little more, so it was all about active movement, staying in the turn. And towards the bottom and got a little icy, so that’s where a lot of people are slipping out, I think.”

There was a delayed start to today’s race, following a technical issue with the gondola bringing the athletes up to the start. The race was pushed forward by an hour and a half, which Ryan took in his stride, “I try to not let delays or changes, or anything throw me off, so I try to stay focused do what I usually do and have fun.”

Tomorrow both Irish athletes will be in action, competing in the Slalom, the preferred event of both Matt Ryan and Emma Austin.

They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets. The competition runs from the 9-22 January, with two waves of competition, and thus two waves of athletes coming into the village.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.

Footage from competition at the Youth Olympics can be found on the LAUSANNE 2020 website and on the OLYMPIC CHANNEL.

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.

 

RESULTS GIANT SLALOM

Gold Philip Hoffmann (Austria) 2:06.31

Silver Sandro Zurbruegg (Switzerland) 2:08.85

Bronze Luc Roduit (Switzerland) 2:08.89

DNF Matt Ryan (Ireland) 1:06.80 first run.

 

Matt Ryan moves into the second run of the Giant Slalom ranked 28th after clocking a time of 1.06.80 in the first race this morning. He is competing on day four of the Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort Les Diablerets.

Ryan is sitting 4.30 seconds outside leader Philip Hoffmann from Austria going into the next run, with the overall finish position in the Giant Slalom being based on the combined scores.

Speaking after the race, Ryan was delighted with his run, “it felt pretty good, I’m happy with my position right now. I have got to focus now for the second run and try to do the same thing.”

The course has been consistently icy this week, and Ryan needed to register a score in order to move to the second run. His finish position this morning means that he will be third starter later today – the top thirty in the first run are ‘flipped’ going into the second run, which means that the skier who finished first earlier today will be the thirtieth starter, and the thirtieth finisher starts first.

In the Giant Slalom, sixty of the seventy-seven starters move into the second run, with most of the slips earlier today occurring towards the bottom of the course. Describing the course Ryan said,

“Up top it was pretty straight, not too turny, so I tried to push the line up there. Coming onto the pitch it started to tighten up and swing a little more, so it was all about active movement, staying in the turn. And towards the bottom and got a little icy, so that’s where a lot of people are slipping out, I think. But I kept on and finished 22nd.”

There was a delayed start to today’s race, following a technical issue with the gondola bringing the athletes up to the start. The race was pushed forward by an hour and a half, which Ryan took in his stride, “I try to not let delays or changes, or anything throw me off, so I try to stay focused do what I usually do and have fun.”

The second run begins at 13:15 Irish time.

Matt Ryan of Team Ireland competing in the Alpine Skiing, Men's Giant Slalom during day 4 of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Les Diablerets, Switzerland.

The Youth Olympics run from the 9-22 January with all the Irish interest occurring between 10 – 14 January with Alpine Skiers Matt Ryan and Emma Austin.

They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.

Footage from competition at the Youth Olympics can be found on the LAUSANNE 2020 website and on the OLYMPIC CHANNEL.

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.

 

RESULTS (AFTER THE FIRST RUN)

First in Ranking Philip Hoffmann (Austria) 1:02.50

Second in Ranking Adam Hofstedt (Sweden) 1:03.19

Third in Ranking Martin Krizaj (Slovenia) 1:04.00

Thirtieth in Ranking Matt Ryan (Ireland) 1:06.80

 

Tricky and Icy Conditions Cut Austin’s Day Short at the Youth Olympics

Icy conditions and a tricky turn resulted in a DNF for Team Ireland’s Emma Austin in the Giant Slalom at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne today. The Irish Alpine Skier was the 58th starter in the first run, and joined nineteen other non-finishers in the race, and will not start in the second run later this morning. At the halfway mark in the Giant Slalom European athletes dominate nine out of the top ten rankings, with Finland’s Rosa Pohjolainen leading with 1:04.99 seconds.

While the course wasn’t excessively steep, Austin went wide on the same point as several other skiers on a particularly difficult turn. Disappointed with her result, Austin described the point where she went out,

“I was having an okay run up until then. Obviously, I wanted to go as fast as I could, and I was having an okay run up until then. I just took a little too much risk and started getting late and I hipped out and went out.”

Emma Austin of Team Ireland competing in the Alpine Skiing, Women's Giant Slalom during day 3 of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Les Diablerets, Switzerland.

In Alpine Skiing athletes get to go down the course once, in what is called the inspection, where they have one opportunity to check out the race-course. During that inspection the athletes slowly ski down, in what they call side-slipping, or skiing on the side of the skis. That’s when they examine the course and make their game plan.

Once the skiers are ready to race, the team coach stays with the athlete at the top of the mountain, and the team manager moves to a position where they can monitor how other skiers are navigating the course. Team Ireland’s athletes are supported by Team Manager Derek Bolger, and Coach Alan Untergassmair who communicate with each other throughout the competition, feeding back information.

“Right before I went Derek (Bolger – Team Manager) had radioed up to Alain (Untergassmair – Coach) and told me to watch out for this one gate that had a little rut in it” Austin, explained, “Even after I had DNF-ed there was a group of girls standing on the side who had DNF-ed before me, so there’s definitely one spot that’s tricky and I wish I had approached it a little bit better, but ski racing is ski racing.”

Emma Austin of Team Ireland speaking to her coach Alain Untergassmair prior to competing in the Alpine Skiing, Women's Giant Slalom during day 3 of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Les Diablerets, Switzerland.

The New Hampshire based seventeen year old has one more chance to compete at the Youth Olympics, when she races in the Slalom next Tuesday, “I’m disappointed today, but I’m ready for attacking the Slalom now that I have a little fire in my butt to get going. The Slalom is my better event anyway so I’m hoping I’ll have a better bib and I’m really excited, I’m really ready to go for that!”

Austin will have a break tomorrow while her teammate Matt Ryan competes in the Giant Slalom. Ryan has already competed this week, and is familiar with the conditions, having competed in the Super G and the Alpine Combined.

A strong performance in the Alpine Combined Slalom for the Massachusetts based skier yesterday has boosted his confidence, when a top seventeen performance helped him jump up the rankings by twenty places to finish 25th overall.

Racing kicks off at 09:00 Irish time tomorrow for the first run, and the second run takes place at 11:45. The final rankings will be determined by the combined time of the two runs for athletes.

The Youth Olympics run from the 9-22 January with all the Irish interest occurring between 10 – 14 January with Alpine Skiers Matt Ryan and Emma Austin.

They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.

Footage from competition at the Youth Olympics can be found on the LAUSANNE 2020 website and on the OLYMPIC CHANNEL.

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.

 

RESULTS (AFTER THE FIRST RUN)

First in Ranking Rosa Pohjolainen (Finland) 1:04.99

Second in Ranking Hanna Aronsson Elfman (Sweden) 1:05.38

Third in Ranking Caitlin McFarlane (France) 1:05.48

DNF Emma Austin (Ireland)

Tomorrow Emma Austin makes her Games debut, competing in the Giant Slalom on day three of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, with the first run starting at 09:00 Irish time. The Giant Slalom is an Alpine Skiing Race, where the athlete negotiates a series of poles and gates that are on the course with the distance between the poles slightly wider than in slalom, making it a little faster than Slalom.

In tomorrow's race, the final positions will be decided based on the combined score. Each run is a race against the clock and based on today's race the icy conditions will make it even trickier.

Austin has settled well into the village, and while it is her first multi-games, she has already competed at the World Junior Championships as well as for Ireland in Lacrosse.

We caught up with her ahead of the competition from the Vortex, the name for the Olympic Village, which is an impressive ring shaped building that will serve as accommodation for students once the Games are finished.

11 January 2020; Emma Austin of Team Ireland poses for a portrait in the Athletes Village during day three of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

"It's all been very exciting and it's really cool to see what Lausanne are doing with sustainability, we are all staying in the Vortex right now. Les Diablerets is an amazing spot.

"I learned how to ski in Wyoming, which is where I lived until I was about four. Then I moved to the east coast, I currently live in Norwich, Vermont which is on the border of New Hampshire, and I learnt how to race at several different resorts around Vermont, and I really got into racing in Greenmountain Valley School.

"I am now a senior, and in the winter I start out skiing until about 12, with the rest of my team, and then I'll go to class from one until about six. After six I eat dinner and then I'll tune my skis."

Austin claimed Irish citizen via her father's side, her grandfather Albert Austin was born in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, who moved to the US when he was young. He was born into a family of eleven children, and the upped sticks and sailed to Boston where they settled down. The Austins still visit his original house when they come to Ireland.

Listen to the full interview here.

Big Performance in the Alpine Combined Slalom at the Youth Olympics

A clean fast slalom run from Team Ireland’s Alpine Skier Matt Ryan saw the seventeen year old jump twenty places in the Alpine Combined today, to finish 25th overall with a time of 1:34.11 at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland. Fast and icy conditions caused over twenty athletes to DNF, making his performance even more impressive.

At the top of today’s podium were Auguste Aulnette (France) and Mikkel Remsoey (Norway) who clocked the exact same time and were both awarded the gold medal, with yesterday’s gold medallist Adam Hofstedt (Sweden) taking bronze.

His time of 35.41 in the Alpine Slalom put Ryan in seventeenth place in today’s event, and once combined with yesterday’s 45th place in the Super G time of 58.7 the Irish man saw his overall standing jump an incredible twenty places.

Speaking after his race, Ryan was happy with his performance, and is intent on building on it for his remaining races in Lausanne,“It was a little better today; I think I can still push it a little more so I’m looking forward to the slalom on Tuesday.”

The tricky conditions on the mountain today led to a particularly icy a difficult course, where 21 athletes were marked as DNF out of the 57 starters. Describing the course Ryan said, “At the top it was a little turny and pretty icy, so I needed to stay over my feet and be quick back and forth. There’s a big bump in there so that’s a little tricky coming over. You’ve got to stay on your feet, and towards the end try to push the line a bit and gain some speed.”

The Slalom is Massachusetts based Ryan’s favoured event, and he plans on building on today’s performance in the individual Slalom race on the 14 January, “It was great to get a run on the hill before the real race, so on Tuesday I need to be a little more forward on my skis. I’ll be ready for Tuesday.”

Emma Austin will make her Team Ireland Games debut tomorrow when she competes in the Giant Slalom. The New Hampshire based athlete competed at the Junior World Championships last year, and also in Lacrosse for Ireland, and will be taking to the slopes at 09:00 Irish time for Run 1; Run 2 takes place at 11:45.

The Youth Olympics run from the 9-22 January with all the Irish interest occurring between 10 – 14 January with Alpine Skiers Matt Ryan and Emma Austin.

They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.

Footage from competition at the Youth Olympics can be found on the LAUSANNE 2020 website and on the OLYMPIC CHANNEL.

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.

 

RESULTS

Gold Adam Hofstedt (SWE) 54.56

Gold Rok Aznoh (SLO) 54.62

Bronze Luc Roduit (SUI) 54.76

25th Matt Ryan (IRL) 58.70

 

 

Ryan Finishes 45 in the Super G at the Youth Olympics

Team Ireland’s action at the Winter Youth Olympics was kick started by Matt Ryan today, when he finished 45th in the Super G, with a time of 58.7 seconds. Gold went to Swedish skier Adam Hofstedt, Slovenian Rok Azneh took silver, and local interest Luc Roduit, from Switzerland rounded off the podium with bronze.

This was the first of five days of competition for the two person Irish team, which also includes Alpine skier Emma Austin. They are competing in the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, with the Alpine Skiing taking place in the ski resort, Les Diablerets.

Speaking after Ryan had a positive outlook, despite disappointment in his results,

“I’m a little disappointed but still happy to be here. I was a little wide on some of the turns and lost a bit of time but overall it was good. The snow is actually really good, they did a good job with it. I’m excited for the next two races, it’s good to get started.”

The Super G is a speed event involving athletes navigating through poles or gates that are separated by a greater distance those in the Slalom and Giant Slalom, and thus ensuring a fast descent for athletes.

Today’s competition also constitutes 50% of the Alpine Combined event that Ryan is competing in, and tomorrow his result from the Alpine Combined Slalom will make up the other half. Ryan will be the only Irish athlete competing tomorrow, with his race starting at 09:30 Irish time.

The Winter Youth Olympic Games have complete gender balance, with the same number of males and females competing, and they are a sustainable-games with athletes and competitors using existing transport systems. Over the course of the games almost 1900 athletes are competing in 8 sports, which cover 16 disciplines and 81 sporting events! To maximise sustainability the sports are run in waves, with Alpine Skiing featuring in the first wave.

Footage from competition at the Youth Olympics can be found on the LAUSANNE 2020 website and on the OLYMPIC CHANNEL.

The Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland will be the first of two major events for Team Ireland in 2020, with the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo later this year.

 

RESULTS

Gold Adam Hofstedt (SWE) 54.56

Silver Rok Aznoh (SLO) 54.62

Bronze Luc Roduit (SUI) 54.76

45th Matt Ryan (IRL) 58.70

 

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