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The Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer is not only attracting the champions of the future to compete in the Olympic city, on the sidelines, cheering on the athletes and meeting the fans have been some of the biggest stars in the world of Winter sport.
© IOC/Ian Jones
Norwegian national hero and Alpine skier Kjetil Jansrud didn’t want to miss the opening day of the Winter YOG on his home turf and took a detour from his World Cup winning streak to support the athletes in the run up to their big event. Fresh from his World Cup win at the first Olympic test event in Pyeongchang, the Olympic gold medallist was in high spirits joining the IOC President to kick off the Games in a press conference along with Olympic champion and IOC member Angela Ruggiero and Norwegian National Young Change-Maker Sajandan Rutthira.
Kjetil commented on being an Ambassador for the YOG, “I grew up an hour away from Lillehammer so it is great to see Olympic spirit back here. Sports are evolving with new generations every year and limits are being pushed, so as an older athlete it is important to remind new generations of the values of sports, across all colours, races, religions. That is why it is important for me to be an Ambassador.”
© Arnt Folvik/YIS/IOC
Kjetil spent the first day meeting with the athletes for lunch in the athletes’ dining hall and taking part in some of the Learn and Share activities, the interactive educational part of the YOG, which offers learning experiences on everything from anti-doping and injury prevention to fair play and career information. Not forgetting fans around the world he did a live Periscope to chat with fans from as far as Brazil and the Philippines.
Mega-star Olympic champion ‘Queen Yuna’ has spent an action packed few days in the host cities of Lillehammer and Hamar – where, along with the IOC President she met with the next generation of figure skaters to give them guidance and advice and paid several visits to the village to spend time with the athletes.
© Carolina Cabella/IOC Young Reporters
Yuna said “I hope young athletes take the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games as a chance to improve themselves. The important thing is the experience. I hope they are not only focusing on the result of the competitions, but also enjoying the Youth Olympic Games, and take it as an opportunity to move one step forward.”
With her instagram account buzzing with fan appreciation, she is really having an impact on fans from Norway and around the world.