All the action from Lillehammer 2016 at a glance
We take a day-by-day look back at the key events on snow and ice at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
Saturday 13 February
The first medals of the 2016 Winter YOG were awarded in the cross-country and Alpine skiing competitions. The Birkebeineren Olympic Stadium staged the debut of an exciting new event, the cross country cross. The cross-country specialists set off en masse to take on a course that featured jumps, climbs, descents and even a slalom! Sweden's Moa Lundgren and the Republic of Korea's Magnus Kim dominated the women's and men's events to emerge victorious in impressive style.
Meanwhile in the Alpine skiing super-G in Hafjell, Austria's Nadine Fest and the USA's River Radamus notched up comfortable victories. And finally, the Republic of Korea launched its campaign in the speed skating events with a victory for Kim Min Sun in the women's 500m, while China's Li Yanzhe prevailed over the same distance in the men's event.
Sunday 14 February
River Radamus continued his blistering form with a second gold in two days, this time taking the men's combined courtesy of a formidable time in the slalom. There was also a second medal of the Games for Swiss skier Aline Dalioth, who followed up her bronze in the super-G by topping the podium in the women's combined event, again thanks to a superb slalom run that enabled her to overtake compatriot Mélanie Meillard. In the biathlon, Frenchman Emilien Claude was the only competitor to miss the target just once in the last shooting section, and having taken the lead in the event, he then triumphed at the finish line of the 7.5km sprint. In the women’s 6km sprint, meanwhile, Germany’s Julianne Fruehwirt obtained a similarly resounding victory.
In the ski halfpipe, held at Oslo Vinterpark, Madison Rowlands (GBR) produced a fantastic second run to capture a well-deserved gold medal. In the men’s competition, Birk Irving (USA) only needed two runs to claim gold with a remarkable score of 93.00. The snowboard halfpipe competition saw the American pair of Kim Chloe and Jake Pates enjoy comfortable and crowd-pleasing successes in their respective events.
At the Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall, the Republic of Korea’s short track speed skaters were the stars of the show, as Jiyoo Kim and Suyoun Lee secured a one-two finish for their country in the ladies’ 1,000m and Daeheon Hwang won the corresponding men’s event.
Finally, Latvia’s Kristers Apajrods lived up to his status of favourite in the luge, dominating both runs of the men’s singles to pick up the gold medal.
Monday 15 February
Biathlete Khrystyna Dmytrenko acquired Ukraine’s first gold medal in the 7.5km, revealing after the race that her thoughts had turned to her watching mother as she crossed the line. In the men’s 10km pursuit, Norway’s Sivert Guttorm Bakken made the most of his superior shooting record to get his hands on the gold.
The figure skating competition saw Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot win the pairs free skate with an elegant performance that enabled them to leapfrog the Czech duo of Anna Duskova and Martin Bidar, who had topped the leaderboard after the short programme. Nota Yamamoto (JPN) took gold in the men’s event. There was great excitement and suspense in the ski cross finals at Hafjell Freepark, where Talina Gentebein (SUI) and Reece Howden (CAN) eventually triumphed in the ladies’ and men’s events respectively.
In the snowboard cross, France’s Manon Petit, who had shown eye-catching form throughout the day, collected gold in the ladies’ competition, while Jake Vedder (USA) mirrored her performance in the men’s contest. History was made at the Lillehammer Olympic Sliding Centre, where Brooke Apshkrum won Canada’s first gold medal in the luge. Elsewhere, the men’s doubles was dominated by the Italian pair of Felix Schwartz and Lukas Gufler. Still on the ice, South Korea’s athletes continued to excel, as Min Seok Kim and Ji Woo Park landed a mens’ and ladies’ double in the 1,500m speed skating.
Tuesday 16 February
Among Tuesday’s highlights was Swiss skier Mélanie Meillard’s gold-medal display in the giant slalom at Hafjell, a triumph that provided her with her second medal of the games, after the silver she procured in the combined. Her compatriot Aline Danioth, who finished third, stepped up onto the podium for the third consecutive time, after her bronze in the super-G and gold in the combined.
In cross-country skiing, Norway’s Thomas Helland Larsen prevailed in the sprint classic ahead of South Korea’s Magnus Kim, who picked up his second medal in two events, following his victory in the cross free. Sweden had a highly productive day all round, with Johanna Hagstrom, who had already bagged a silver in the cross free, taking gold in the women’s equivalent.
In figure skating, Polina Turskaya (RUS) delivered an outstanding free-skate performance to surge from fourth place and claim gold in the ladies’ competition. The ice dancing, meanwhile, saw the Russian couple of Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov hold firmly onto the first place they had achieved via their short programme earlier in the week.
Japan’s Sena Takenaya emerged victorious from the women’s ice hockey skills challenge, an event unique to the Youth Olympic Games which tests athletes in six different areas (lap speed, shooting accuracy, skating agility, shot speed, passing precision and puck control).
Elsewhere, Hannes Orlamuender, Jessica Tiebel, Paul Gubitz and Paul-Lukas Heider joined forces to win the luge team relay for Germany, while China’s Yize Zang and South Korea’s Kyunghwan Hong earned gold medals in the ladies’ and men’s 500m short track final.
Tim Kopp proved too strong for his rivals in the Nordic combined: having built up a strong lead in the ski jumping, he produced a winning burst of pace in the 5km cross-country portion. In the ski jumping event itself, it was a memorable day for Slovenia, as Ema Klinec (ladies) and Bor Pavlovic (men) both clinched gold medals.
At Hafjell, spectators were treated to the new and spectacular team ski-snowboard cross event, in which skiers and snowboarders of both sexes compete against each other. Germany took the honours in the inaugural competition.
Wednesday 17 February
Imperious skier River Radamus (USA) added a third gold medal to his collection in Lillehammer, winning the giant slalom at Hafjell by a significant margin of 1.07 seconds. Japan’s Yohei Koyama was second.
Enthralled and enthusiastic fans present in the Birkebeineren Biathlon Stadium were able to enjoy the new single mixed relay, an event making its debut at the Games. A superb display by Zhu Zhenyu, who outshone his opponents in the last shooting and held off the challenge of Norway’s Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannessen at the line, secured an historic victory for a Chinese team that also included Meng Fenqi. The tightly contested bronze medal went to the Russian team, who pipped France to the post.
Over in the Lillehammer Curling Hall, the mixed team competition culminated in glory for Canada, who defeated United States 10-4. Switzerland took the bronze with a comprehensive win over Russia.
Last but not least on Wednesday, the “mixed NOC team sprint” speed skating event, which got its first-ever outing at Lillehammer 2016, was won by “Team 6”, made up of Noemi Bonanza (ITA), Jae Woong Chung (KOR), Shen Hanyang (CHN) and Sumiya Buyantogtokh (MGL), who picked up Mongolia’s first-ever Winter Olympic medal in the process!
Thursday 18 February
It was an incredible day for Aline Danioth, with the young Swiss skier dominating the slalom event in Hafjell, the fourth and final individual alpine ski event of this year’s YOG. It was her fourth time on the Olympic podium, after taking bronze in the Super-G, gold in the combined event and bronze in the giant slalom of the YOG.
At the Birkebeineren stadium, cross-country skier Magnus Kim from the Republic of Korea was truly in his element, again dominating the 10km freestyle, after winning the cross event, and taking home the silver in the sprint classics. Russia’s Maya Yakunina took a comfortable win in the 5km ladies freestyle after gaining an early lead. In the ski jumping, the Slovenian heroes of the individual trials, Ema Klinec and Bor Pavlovic, combined their forces with Vid Vhrovnik for an unparalleled victory ahead of Germany and Austria in the mixed team competition.
Lastly, in the evening event held at Kristins Hall, Romania’s Eduard Casaneanu achieved a historic win, gaining Romania’s first Winter Olympics title, with the most consistent scores in the six trials of the ice hockey skills challenge. He showed particular skill in lap speed and puck control drills.
Friday 19 February
River Radamus’ golden streak finally came to an end in the slalom as he went out in the first leg. Victory went to Austria’s Manuel Traninger whose stunning finish meant added a gold medal to his win in the super-G and silver in the combined event.
In the ski and snowboarding slopestyle events, it was time for the Hafjell Freepark events. In the snowboarding, USA’s Chloe Kim and Jake Pates proved undefeatable. The scope and quality of their figures saw them both win their second gold medals after their respective victories in the halfpipe. Also in the skiing slopstyle, Russia’s Lana Prusakova had an incredible first run, posting a score of 77.00 that will remain undefeated. France’s Lou Barin had a great second run, snatching away the silver from Britain’s halfpipe winner Madison Rowlands. Norway’s Birk Ruud took the win in the men’s ski event.
Ashleigh Pittaway continued Britain’s impressive tradition of wins in the ladies’ skeleton, clinching the gold in the women’s event at just 15 years of age with the fastest runs in both rounds. Russia’s Evegenii Rukosuev also dominated both of his runs to win the gold in the men’s event.
The hills of Lysgardsbakken and the Birkebeineren stadium also saw the debut of an all-new competition, with mixed teams Nordic ski, normal hill and 3 x 3.3 KM relays that saw pitted both women’s and men’s ski jumpers, combined skiers and cross-country skiers against each other!
The Russian team of Sofia Tikhonova, Vitalii Ivanov, Maksim Sergeev, Maya Yakunina and Igor Fedotov came away victorious after 26 minutes of hard work, pushing ahead of Norway and Germany.
Lastly, Kim Min Seok in the men’s and Park Ji Woo in the women’s both came away with stunning wins in the Mass Start event that marked the close of the speed skating events in Hamar. Kim won his second gold medal in the YOG following a win in the 1,500m, as did Park after win in the 1,500m on 15 February. In the speed skating, only the title for the 500m men’s event escaped the clutches of the young skaters from the Republic of Korea!
Saturday 20 February
The Alpine skiing competitions at Hafjell ended on a high note with the parallel mixed team event, with 16 two-athlete NOC teams, each comprising a man and woman, battling it out in an exciting knockout slalom format. The final pitted Germany against a Russia team inspired by Alexey Konkov, who had won all his heats in the previous rounds. Konkov’s luck ran out in the final race, however, when he skied out to hand victory to Jonas Stockinger and give a Germany team that also featured Lucia Rispler a 3-1 win. Finland saw off Canada by the same scoreline to secure the bronze.
Making a spectacular Olympic debut at the Lillehammer Olympic Sliding Centre was monobob, an event in which competitors have to push, brake and drive all by themselves in sleds allocated by a draw. To ensure even more of a level playing field, the bob placing last in the first run is handed to the competition leader for the second run. Germany took gold in both the men’s and women’sevents, with Jonas Jannusch and Laura Nolte topping the respective podiums.
The Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre provided the setting for an equally thrilling mixed NOC team figure skating competition, which saw ice dance pairs, couples and male and female singles skaters go head-to-head. The day belonged to Team Desire, with Dmitri Aliev of Russia, China’s Li Xiangning, Sarah Rose and Joseph Goodpaster of the USA and Russian pair Anastasia Skoptcova and Kirill Aleshin combining to win gold.
The short track speed skating competitions concluded with a typically eventful mixed NOC team relay event contested by four teams in total. The gold medal was won by Team B, featuring Norway’s Ane By Farstad, Republic of Korea’s Kim Jiyoo (the winner of the ladies’ 1,000m earlier in the week), Stijn Desmet of Belgium and Quentin Fercocq of France.
Sunday 21 February 2016
Just six days after turning 16, Sweden forward Sofie Lundin gave herself the perfect birthday present at Kristins Hall on Sunday, scoring twice in her country’s 3-1 defeat of Czech Republic in the final of the women’s ice hockey tournament, a feat that led to her being mobbed by her jubilant team-mates at full time. Switzerland completed the podium courtesy of their 5-2 win over Slovakia in Saturday’s bronze-medal game.
The men’s final went the way of the USA, who opened the scoring against Canada and stayed out front to record a 5-2 win. Russia had overpowered Finland 6-2 to take the bronze on Saturday.
Norway took the honours in the biathlon team mixed relay, much to the delight of the crowd at the Birkebeineren Biathlon Stadium. Taking over from Marit Oyegard in fifth place, Marthe Krakstad Johansen –the winner of three medals already at Lillehammer 2016 – turned in a flawless second leg to propel the Norwegians into the lead. Single mixed relay silver medallist Fredrik Qvist Bucher-Johannesen and two-time individual medallist Sivert Guttorm Bakken then made sure of gold for the hosts, with Bakken crossing the line 7.6 seconds clear of Germany’s anchorman, while Italy came in 90 seconds adrift to round off the final podium on the snow at Lillehammer 2016.
The Lillehammer Curling Arena was the venue for the final event of the 2016 YOG, the curling mixed doubles, with Japan’s Yako Matsuzawa and Switzerland’s Philipp Hoesli teaming up to beat Han Yu of China and Great Britain’s Ross White 11-5 in the final. The bronze went to China’s Ruiyi Zao and Norway’s Andreas Haarstad, who eased to a 10-1 win over Japan’s Honora Sasaki and Canada’s Tyler Tardi.
Thank you Lillehammer for a wonderful ten days of competition. See you in Lausanne in 2020.