Austrian Performance Exceeds Expectations
Hosts Austria say the team’s performance surprised even themselves.
Peter Mennel, secretary general of the Austrian Olympic Committee (OOC), said at the Games’ closing press conference the team’s performance will prepare Austrian athletes well for PyeongChang.
"We would have never expected it," Mennel said of the home team's performance, good for 14 medals and fourth on the medal tally.
He added that Austria is now “on par” with other winter sport countries moving forward.
AOC president Karl Stoss echoed Mennel’s comments saying the team’s performance showcased “10 wonderful days.”
Germans Top Medal Count
Germany finished first in the medal tally, but Thomas Bach, president of the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) says the YOG was successful for other reasons.
DOSB president Thomas Bach. (DOSB)
"We see glowing eyes of athletes," he said in an interview posted on the DOSB website. “This shows that this was a successful debut with a great mix of large and powerful sport and also values of education, communication, culture and fun for the athletes.
"These Games, I believe, succeeded.
"We have seen great sport, we have also seen how the athletes have engaged in the cultural and educational program and how the teams each handled each other with great fairness, respect and friendship and respect," he added.
"The goals we have set with these Youth Games have been fully achieved here in Innsbruck."
Pride for Team USA
USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and chair Larry Probst share a moment with Yoggl, the Games mascot. (ATR)
The chef de mission for Team USA says he took pride in the YOG team’s performance.
“I’m proud of our entire delegation,” said Todd Allison following the team’s eight-medal haul.
“In addition to pouring their hearts out on the ice and snow, our athletes truly embraced the spirit of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and Olympism. They have been great supporters of the Culture & Education Program and made friends from around
YOG Continues British Success in Innsbruck
Britain’s performance in Innsbruck recalled past British Olympic success in Innsbruck, the British Olympic Association said.
Jazmin Sawyers and Mica McNeill. (BOA)
British sliders Mica McNeill and Jazmin Sawyers won silver in bobsleigh on the final day.
“The duo continued the tradition of British Olympic success on the same track that witnessed Olympic gold for Team GB’s Robin Dixon and Anthony Nash in 1964,” the BOA said.
With the silver medal success on day 9, the BOA said it allowed the team to go out “on a high.”
“I have no doubt that every single athlete, whether in victory or defeat, has gained a great deal from their unique Youth Olympic experience” said Clive Woodward, Team GB chef de mission.
“For the four British athletes going home with medals around their necks, they have a moment I’m sure they will remember forever.”
“Fantastic” Aussie Campaign
The Australian Olympic Committee says Australia had a “fantastic campaign” at the Games, winning two bronze medals and having six top-10 finishes.
Team Australia at the Youth Olympic Village. (AOC)
“All 13 athletes represented our country with distinction and gave their all against the world’s best winter junior specialists,” the AOC said in a statement on its website.
“From Perth, Melbourne, the Snowy Region, Sydney, the NSW Central Coast, Brisbane and Townsville our 15-17 year olds have done Australia proud and given their all. It’s not easy to compete against opponents who ski to school or have huge mountains on their doorstep yet our Australian athletes did just that.”
Kiwi Athletes Sticking Around
New Zealand’s chef de mission says the Olympians representing New Zealand will wear all black at future Winter Games too.
New Zealand’s Callum Burns in action at the ice hockey skills challenge. (ATR)
“The Olympic environment is unique,” said Pete Wardell. “The Youth Olympic Winter Games are a new way to provide our athletes with the experience they need to progress in the competitive winter sports world. The level of competition here is extremely high. We’ll be seeing some of these athletes go on to Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018.”
Written by Ed Hula III.
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