Olympic.org takes a look at what some former Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes are up to by diving into their social media posts.
YOG boxing champion Caroline Dubois is already looking ahead to a big year in 2021. The 19-year-old revealed her training plans on Instagram as she targets a place at the postponed Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. “Heading to Bulgaria for a week training camp, to train and spar with the Bulgarian national team,” she posted. “All good preparation for the Olympic qualifiers in April and a massive 2020 +1.”
Australian golfer Karl Vilips, who won individual men’s gold at the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, achieved a rare feat on the course recently, as he holed out for an albatross on a par-five at the P.B. Dye Golf Club in Maryland (USA). The chances of making an albatross – meaning scoring three-under-par on a single hole – are estimated to be around six million to one, so the 19-year-old’s hole-out with his second shot from 265 yards was statistically far rarer than a hole-in-one. “First ever albatross,” posted Vilips. “Didn’t think the day would come.”
German ski jumper Katharina Althaus – a gold and silver medallist at the Winter YOG Innsbruck 2012 – was clearly excited to be back on the jumping hill this winter, as she shared a beaming selfie on Instagram. “The first snow jumps are done and it feels so good to finally have snow under the skis again,” she posted.
Estonian biathlete Rene Zahkna – a double silver medallist at the Winter YOG Innsbruck 2012 – was not best pleased with his performances at the opening World Cup event of the season in Kontiolahti (Finland), but vowed to his followers that he would return stronger.
“First two races of the World Cup were mentally devastating,” he posted. “Couldn't back up my shooting with skiing. Felt like I was out of any speed on skis, a bitter pill to swallow after great summer. But since I know what I am capable of when my body responds normally, I'm confident I will bounce back.”
Athletes are always keen to share posts with their pets, and Innsbruck 2012 luge bronze medallist Ulla Zirne is no exception! The 25-year-old Latvian describes her dog, Karlo, as her best friend and recounted their first meeting on Instagram recently, which seemed to involve plenty of face-licking.
Emily Kristine Pedersen
Danish golfer Emily Kristine Pedersen has enjoyed a hugely successful few weeks, winning three successive events to wrap up the Ladies European Tour’s season-long Race to Costa del Sol title. After her victory at the Saudi Ladies International in November, she was quick to thank all those who had congratulated her. “So overwhelmed to wake up to so many messages, phone calls, posts etc!” she posted on Instagram. “I’ve read all of them and it makes yesterday even more special! Thank you.”
Lillehammer 2016 luge bronze medallist Madeleine Egle shared her joy on Instagram recently as she secured her best-ever World Cup result, with the 22-year-old Austrian posting: “Fourth place here in Altenberg! What can I say it's amazing! Having that speed with me in the track, being able to pull decent starts (which I have never thought that I'd be able to do some months ago). Of course, there are still some more improvements to do but I am on the right way! Next stop: Oberhof!”
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen recently shared some very exciting news on Instagram, as she announced the birth of her daughter, Vega. The Norwegian freestyle skier, who won halfpipe silver at the Winter YOG Innsbruck 2012 and competed at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, had been keeping her fans updated throughout her pregnancy and was delighted to introduce Vega to the world. “Finally she is here, little Vega,” posted the 25-year-old. “We enjoy every second with our new heartbreaker, who is already a week old!”