Freestyling at the Royal Palace!
In true Youth Olympic Games style, the Norwegian Royal Palace was transformed last weekend when the Torch Tour came to visit, using the Royal Gardens as a freestyle park, complete with rails and kickers. The sports of cross-country, biathlon and figure skating were also on show, as well as ski jumping!
Thousands of people turned out in sub-zero temperatures to warm up by testing out the various different sports or taking the plunge down a giant ice-slide that had been carved out in the park. Joining the crowds were some of Norway’s most celebrated athletes, including Olympic cross-country ski legend Bjørn Dæhlie and rising stars who will compete at Lillehammer 2016 such as Mathis Bosshard Haavi (ski cross) and Martine Engebretsen (cross-country).
The Torch Tour visit coincided with the 25-year anniversary of King Harald’s accession to the throne and took centre stage at the celebrations when the torch was carried by Prince Sverre Magnus followed by the “young changemaker of the year”, Sajandan Rutthira (19).
Lillehammer 2016 CEO Tomas Holmestad commented, “To see the sparkle in the eyes of our young leaders who will volunteer during the Games was fantastic. We have a Crown Prince in the Organising Committee; a Princess who will light the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremony, and a King who will do the official opening of the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer. It shows their amazing commitments to the Games – three generations of the Royal Family are involved.” He continued, “to be allowed to celebrate the King and the Queen with the Olympic flame, young volunteers and a new generation of performers was fantastic. The event at the Palace Square today really highlighted what YOG DNA is all about; youths doing sports together, on their own terms.”
The Torch Tour is on its route from the very north of Norway to Lillehammer in time for the Games starting on 12 February. Follow the action throughout Norway on Lillehammer 2016’s social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat (@youtholympics).