First Aussies set to compete: Day 1 preview

13 February 2016

LILLEHAMMER 2016: Australia will return to Olympic competition in Lillehammer on Saturday for the first time since the historic 1994 Games when the sunburnt nation won its first Winter Olympic medal.

Six athletes across three sports will get proceedings underway for the 2016 Australian Youth Olympic Team. (times below)

Cross country skiers Liam Burton and Lilly Boland, alpine skiers Katie Parker and Louis Muhlen and ice hockey skills challenge athletes Madison Poole and Jake Riley will all be in action on what is officially the second day of Lillehammer competition.

Boland will have the honour of being the first Australian to compete at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

She and Burton will compete at Birkbeineren Stadium in one of many innovative events on show over the nine full days of the Lillehammer 2016 competition, the cross county cross.

Similar to the sprint, the event features a host of technical elements including jumps and tight turns that will test the skier’s abilities.

“I can’t wait to get going,” Burton said.

“The cross country cross has a few rollers and is mainly skills based as well as the usual uphills and downhills.”

This will be the sport streamed live on https://www.youtube.com/olympics  Each day at the Games one sport will be featured.

For Muhlen and Parker the Super G will open proceedings for the alpine competition at Hafjell Olympic Slope.

The event features a single run down the mountain with the athletes skiing through a series of gates at high speed in a race against the clock.

“I’m really looking forward to the opening race and getting everything going,” Muhlen said.

“The course has been pretty awesome and we should have great racing conditions.”

“I’m just going to send it, do my best and go fast,” Parker added.

Poole and Riley will feature in the first two elements of the ice hockey skills challenge at Kristins Hall, just a short walk from the Olympic Village.

The pair will compete in the fastest lap, of which former speed skater Poole will fancy her chances, and shooting accuracy challenges where Riley can match it with the best.

It’s the first of three days of competition for the pair and if successful they will progress to their respective finals where all six elements will take place on the one night.

“Training has been going really well,” Poole said.

“The venue is huge the grandstands are massive which is a bit intimidating but I can’t wait to see who shows up to cheer us on.”

All results and action will be covered on AUSOlympicTeam twiiter channel, with all stories and athlete biographies on olympics.com.au/lillehammer2016 

Australians competing

Athlete: Lilly Boland
Sport: Cross Country
Event: Cross Country Cross
Time: Qualifications - 9:30am-10:25am (7:30pm-8:25pm AEDT) Finals – 11:10am-12:05pm (9:10pm-10:05pm AEDT) 

Athlete: Liam Burton
Sport: Cross Country
Event: Cross Country Cross
Time: Qualifications - 9:55am-10:50am (7:55pm-8:50pm AEDT) Finals – 11:25am-12:20pm (9:25pm-10:20pm AEDT)

Athlete: Louis Muhlen
Sport: Alpine Skiing
Event: Super G
Time: 12:00pm-1:20pm (10:00pm-11:20pm AEDT)

Athlete: Katie Parker
Sport: Alpine Skiing
Event: Super G
Time: 10:30am-11:40am (8:30pm-9:40pm AEDT)

Athlete: Madison Poole
Sport: Ice Hockey Skills Challenge
Time: Fastest lap - 1:00pm-2:30pm (11:00pm-12:30am AEDT) shooting accuracy – 2:30pm-4:00pm (12:30am-2:00am AEDT)

Athlete: Jake Riley
Sport: Ice Hockey Skills Challenge
Time: Fastest lap - 1:00pm-2:30pm (11:00pm-12:30am AEDT) shooting accuracy – 2:30pm-4:00pm (12:30am-2:00am AEDT)

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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