Australian Team exceeds all expectations
Australia was reprsented by 13 outstanding athletes at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria from 13-22 January.
President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge said the first Winter Youth Olympic Games has ‘exceeded all expectations’ at the closing ceremony in downtown Innsbruck. The same can be said for the 2012 Australian Winter Youth Olympic Team.
Bronze medals to snowboarder Alex Fitch and ice hockey player Sharnita Crompton were Australia’s outstanding performances, backed up by an additional six top-ten finishes across five disciplines. All 13 athletes represented our country with distinction and gave their all against the world’s best winter junior specialists.
From Perth, Melbourne, the Snowy Region, Sydney, the NSW Central Coast, Brisbane and Townsville our 15-17 year olds did Australia proud and gave 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.
In her first role as Chef de Mission of an Australian Team, Alisa Camplin was thrilled with what had been achieved in the stunning city which hosted its third Winter Olympic event. Young Ambassador for the Team Ramone Cooper did a sensational job of encouraging participation in the Culture & Education programme and at performing at their best in competition.
Greta Small represented Australia in the Opening Ceremony as flagbearer and Alex Fitch in the Closing Ceremony, to top off a wonderful 10 days where she also finished fourth in the halfpipe.
The AOC hopes all of the athletes keep training hard, learn from the experience and aim high for Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 20918. A huge thank you to all coaches, officials and support staff working across medical, media and athlete services.
Innsbruck 2012 the experience
Austrian city Innsbruck has hosted the Winter Olympic Games twice before (1964 and 1976). With an innovative twist it hosted the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012.
The ‘Sport + Media Experience’ was designed to inspire young people and encourage cross-cultural collaboration. By implementing a Culture and Education Programme based on new media platforms alongside youth-specific sporting disciplines, Innsbruck represented an extension of the IOC’s new direction in generating enthusiasm among young people to share Olympic values.
From 13 to 22 January 2012 approximately 1,000 athletes between the ages of 14-18 competed in a sporting programme based on the seven sports included in Vancouver 2010 - biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing. Additionally, team competitions involving mixed Nations and gender that were pioneered at the Games- such as mixed skip jumping and Short Track Nations Team Competition. New events such as Snowboard Slopestyle and women's ski jumping featured in Innsbruck as a preview to their inclusion for Sochi 2014.