(ATR) The final week of the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games is as packed as the snow at the competition venues and along the Storgata, where many of the cultural activities take place.
Most venues will see action through at least Saturday, with ice hockey, curling and biathlon spilling over onto Sunday, the final day of the Games.
Wednesday has an extremely light schedule with only four sports that all conclude by 1:20 p.m. That’s because athletes are encouraged to spend time visiting the Learn & Share program in Hakon’s Hall, where they can enrich their YOG experience beyond the field of play. Besides jumping on a trampoline and trying other fun activities, they also can also develop key life skills and become responsible role models. The five themes are Your Career, Your Body & Mind, Your Stories, Your Discovery and Your Actions.
On Monday night, athletes can learn from veteran Olympians during a Chat with Champions with alpine skier Lindsey Vonn of the U.S., luger Wolfgang Linger of Austria, athlete/coach bobsledder Eric Alard of France and skeleton racer Shelley Rudman of Great Britain.
Seven of the eight new events will be contested this week, starting with Snowboard Cross on Monday, the Team Ski-Snowboard Cross on Tuesday, the long track speed skating Mixed NOC Team Sprint and biathlon Single Mixed Relay on Wednesday, Ski Slopestyle on Friday and the Monobob and Nordic Mixed team event on Saturday.
YOG Ambassador Yuna Kim teaches Sjogg Live host Sebastian how to skate. (ATR)
The flame burns bright in Sjogg Park, where it was moved after the Opening Ceremony. Sjogg Park is a gathering place for visitors and includes outdoor cinema with titles such as “No Country for Cold Men,” “On Thin Ice” and “North of the Sun.” Ski Ballet and Jump Biathlon are also featured in the park, as well as the Sjogg LIVE TV show.
The Igloo Disco is also in Sjogg Park, where Adiele – not to be confused with Adele – is a frequent performer.
Nico & Vinz, who had an international hit song in “Am I Wrong,” are headliners at Bruket on Saturday, followed by Lemaitre on Sunday.
At Tyrili Climbin and Café, athletes can try ice climbing and learn Parkour as well as hear speakers such as Karina Hollekim, the Norwegian skier and BASE jumper who survived a near-fatal crash when her parachute failed, and alpine racer Kjetil Andrew Aamodt, although the latter is giving his talk in Norwegian.
No act starts later than 8:30 p.m.-- giving athletes plenty of time to get enough sleep -- until Lemaitre on Sunday night.
IOC president Thomas Bach on set with Sjogg Live host Maria (ATR)
Monday night is expected to be bitterly cold, at minus-20, and the cold weather continues Tuesday – with a high of minus-9 during the day -- before warming up slightly on Wednesday. One prognosticator, weather.com, even calls for snow on Wednesday and Thursday, though other forecasts don’t mention it. Weather.com also calls for an 80 percent chance of rain and snow on Saturday, as the Games are winding down.
IOC President Thomas Bach, who has enthusiastically visited multiple venues a day, will leave Lillehammer for a short period before returning for the final days of competition.
Norwegian government ministers were volunteering Monday at various venues, including Minister of Transport and Communications Ketil Solvik-Olsen, Minister of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion Solveig Horne, Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien and Minister of Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale.
Norwegian Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland, who also oversees sport, has invited her Nordic colleagues to Lillehammer. Bertel Haarder from Denmark, Illugi Gunnarsson from Iceland and Gabriel Wikström from Sweden will attend the Games on Monday and Tuesday, visiting Sjogg Park; Learn & Share at Hakon’s Hall; Maihaugen, home of the new Norwegian Olympic Museum; the Luge Team Relay at Hunderfossen and the Team Ski-Snowboard Cross final at Halfjell.
Written by Karen Rosen in Lillehammer, Norway.
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