In just 200 days, the world’s finest winter sports athletes will gather in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. With over 2,500 top sportsmen and women and seven Olympic sports – including new disciplines such as ski half-pipe and snowboard slopestyle, which were first showcased at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Innsbruck last year – it promises to be 17 days of exciting sporting action, and we are looking forward to seeing some familiar faces waving the YOG flag.
YOG athletes with their sights firmly set on Sochi 2014 include YOG champions Kai Mahler (SUI), ski freestyle; Franziska Preuss (GER), biathlon; and Sara Takanashi (JPN), ski jumping. Other YOGgies aiming for their first Olympic Games next February include Russian skating prodigy Elizaveta Tuktamisheva, young US snowboarder Arielle Gold – who took double silver in Innsbruck – and snowboard half-pipe silver medallist Tim-Kevin Ravnjak (SLO).
For these young athletes, it will be the occasion for them to test their skills against those who inspired them during the first Winter YOG in Innsbruck, Austria, last year, such as YOG Ambassadors Lindsey Vonn (USA), Yuna Kim (SKOR) and Kevin Rolland (FRA).
With 200 days left before the Opening Ceremony, we can’t wait to see what Sochi 2014 has planned for us. In the meantime, we’ll be following the longest torch relay in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. Travelling more than 65,000km, carried by around 14,000 torchbearers over 123 days, including a trip to space and back, the Sochi 2014 Torch Relay will begin in autumn in Russia, on 7 October.
Until then, join us in cheering on Kai, Franziska, Sara, Elizaveta, Arielle, Tim-Kevin plus Greta Small (AUS), Adam Lamhammedi (MOR), Mica McNeill (GBR), Aita Gasparin (SUI)… and all the other YOG athletes on their journey to next year’s Olympic Winter Games.