Athletes from all over the world worked together in a determined display of teamwork in the Short Track Speed Skating Mixed-NOC Team event at the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games on Saturday.
Jung Hyun Park (KOR), Xiucheng Lu (CHN), Aili Xu (CHN) and Jack Burrows (GBR) grabbed the Gold medal and the team clearly relished the chance to compete alongside athletes from different nations.
“Ecstatic” is the way Jack felt after clinching the medal. “It is just amazing,” he added. Speaking about their team tactics, Jack said: “We just had one training session, but we had a bit of fun and had a laugh in the changing room. Our strategy was to relax going into the race, because we knew we would go faster like that.”
Xiucheng also enjoyed the event. “It is fun to be in a team with athletes from different countries,” he said. Fellow Chinese athlete Aili was equally enthusiastic. “I learnt that solidarity is important in a team," she said. "We have made good communication before competing.”
Team F of Chunyu Qu (CHN), Hongzhi Xu (CHN), Mariya Dolgopolova (UKR) and Aydin Djemal (GBR), secured the Silver medal, and revealed afterwards that a laptop and an online translation programme proved crucial to their success.
“Communication was not easy in the team,” Aydin said. “There was a bit of language barrier. But I used my laptop and Google Translate to get over it.”
The British skater admitted reaching the podium had come as a shock. "It feels really great, I didn’t expect it at all.”
Korea’s Suk Hee Shim, France’s Yoann Martinez, Austria’s Melanie Brantner and Russia’s Denis Ayrapetyan wrapped up the Bronze medal.