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Five Years On: Where are the stars of Lillehammer 2016 now?

12 Feb 2021
Olympic News, YOG, Lillehammer 2016
As we mark the fifth anniversary of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lillehammer 2016, takes a look at what some of the stars of the Games have achieved since wowing crowds in the Norwegian host city.

Chloe Kim

US snowboarder Chloe Kim had been tipped for greatness since bursting onto the global scene as a 14-year-old at the 2015 Winter X Games, when she became the event’s youngest ever gold medallist after triumphing in the superpipe ahead of the legendary Kelly Clark. She went on to win gold in halfpipe and slopestyle at the Winter YOG Lillehammer 2016, and then took gold at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 with a near-perfect second run that scored an incredible 98.25 points. She has continued to dominate the X Games, recently winning her sixth gold medal after taking time off to focus on her university studies at Princeton (USA), and will look to defend her halfpipe title in Beijing next year, when she can underline her status as the greatest female snowboarder of all time.

Mathilde Gremaud

Since competing at Lillehammer 2016 – where she finished seventh in slopestyle – Swiss freestyle skier Mathilde Gremaud has made a name for herself as one of the leading big air performers in the world. Now aged 21, Gremaud recently won her third X Games title in the event and has also won multiple times on the FIS World Cup circuit. Just two years after competing in Lillehammer, she won a silver medal in slopestyle at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and, with big air also set to feature at Beijing 2022, she could add to that medal tally next year.

Lillehammer 2016 Getty Images
Madeleine Egle

Austrian luger Madeleine Egle has firmly established herself at the elite level since winning YOG bronze in Lillehammer. The 22-year-old teamed up with compatriots David Gleirscher,

Peter Penz and Georg Fischler to win bronze in the mixed team event at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, before returning to Lillehammer in 2020 to clinch mixed team gold in the European Championships, where she partnered with Gleirscher, Thomas Steu and Lorenz Koller. That same quartet recently topped the podium at the 2021 World Championships, suggesting Egle may be in line for another strong bid for the Olympic podium in Beijing next year.

Lillehammer 2016 OIS
Oliver Wahlstrom

Oliver Wahlstrom starred for the USA in the opening games of the Lillehammer 2016 ice hockey tournament, scoring a hat-trick in an 8-0 win over Norway, before missing the final two games through injury as the Americans clinched gold against Canada. He went on to play a key role in the USA’s victory at the Under-18 World Championships in 2017, scoring four goals in seven games, and then impressed once again as the Americans finished runners-up in 2018, as he struck seven times and assisted twice during the tournament and was named on the all-star team. After playing in the 2019 World Junior Championships, where he helped the US team to another runners-up finish, Wahlstrom signed with the New York Islanders in the NHL and made his debut later that year. After a loan spell with Swedish club AIK, the 20-year-old has now returned to the Islanders, scoring his first NHL goal in a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in January this year.

Lillehammer 2016 Getty Images
Hwang Dae-heon

Hwang Dae-heon proved he had the potential to join the Republic of Korea’s impressive short track speed skating dynasty when he clinched 1,000-metre gold at the Winter YOG Lillehammer 2016, showing great tactical nous as he overtook China’s Ma Wei in the closing stages. By the end of that year, his potential for stardom was in no doubt as he set a new world record of 1:20.875 in the same event – a record which still stands today – and then went on to win silver in the 500m at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. Just a month later, he was crowned world champion in the 500m, and then successfully defended his title in 2019.

Laura Nolte

German bobsledder Laura Nolte has enjoyed an impressive start to 2021. The Lillehammer 2016 monobob champion won gold in the two-woman event at the IBSF European Championships, held in Winterberg (Germany), in January and just two weeks later topped the podium in the same event at the IBSF Junior World Championships in St Moritz (Switzerland). Then, at the start of February, she claimed bronze at the IBSF World Championships in Altenberg (Germany) to cap a hugely successful season that also saw her collect three World Cup victories.

Birk Ruud

Norwegian freestyle skier Birk Ruud won gold on home snow at the Winter YOG Lillehammer 2016, as he topped the podium in slopestyle, and five years on is now proving to be a triple threat at senior level as he stars in big air, slopestyle and halfpipe. With two X Games gold medals and an overall World Cup title to his name, Ruud is sure to be among the medal favourites at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

Elizabet Tursynbayeva

Since winning bronze at the Winter YOG Lillehammer 2016, Kazakh figure skater Elizabet Tursynbayeva has made impressive progress on the senior circuit, culminating in her making history at the 2019 World Championships, where she became the first female to land a quadruple jump in senior competition. Her quad salchow in the free skate helped her win silver behind Olympic champion Alina Zagitova. Prior to her star turn at the 2019 World Championships, Tursynbayeva had also won silver at the Four Continents Championships, but she has not competed since finishing as runner-up at the 2019 Shanghai Trophy, with a lower-back injury causing her to withdraw from the Grand Prix series.

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