Winter sports are a popular hobby for many of our domestic self storers. It makes sense really – whether you’re a skier, a snowboarder, a skater or even a bobsledder – it’s helpful to have somewhere to keep all that gear when it’s not in use.
If you’ve a passion for taking part in snow sports you’ll probably also be a fan of watching them. If you thought you had to wait another two years to catch some Olympic Ice action, we’ve got some good news. 2016 doesn’t just see the Summer Olympics in Brazil, it’s also the year of the Winter Youth Olympics, which take place in Lillehammer, Norway. 71 nations, taking part in 2 weeks of intense competition, that kick off with the opening ceremony on 12th February and wrap up on 21st.
Here then is our preview of the sliding, shushing, skating, gliding, twirling, backflipping, shooting and jumping that the winter sports youngsters will be up to over the coming two weeks…
The Youth Olympic Games are a relatively new phenomenon – the 2016 Winter event being only the second – after the inaugural event at Innsbruck in 2012. Open to athletes aged 15 – 18 the games feature 15 Winter Sports disciplines, all of which fans of the full Winter Olympics will be familiar with. From the Ice Rink to the Snow slopes, the Ice Track to the Shooting Range, it’s sure to be a high adrenaline fortnight with plenty of thrills and spills. We couldn’t possibly cover all the events in our little blog – so we’ve picked out some of the top events, along with the up and coming Brits to keep your eye on…
If you’re expecting a Downhill Blue riband event – you might initially be disappointed – the downhill is to the Winter Games what the 100metres is in summer. But the Youth games don’t feature a downhill. Instead is a team parallel event has been introduced – which will be familiar to anyone who’s raced in the UK on a dry-ski slope, or more recently, viewers of Channel 4’s The Jump. It’s sure to be dramatic.
If the Alpine events are all about getting down the hill through the control gates as quickly as possible, the Freestyle events are about gymnastic grace and creative expression. Freestyle events are more like a cross between figure skating and alpine skiing – in that they are judged – so there s a strong element of subjective interpretation. Slope Style and Half Pipe Athletes are scored on Amplitude, Technical Difficulty, Creativity and Landings. Ski-Cross is the exception to the scoring system rule – it’s an out and out race of thrills and spills – where first across the line win, and it’s become one of the most popular and must-watch disciplines on the Winter Olympic coverage.
Bobsleigh is hardly the most obvious sport to get into – although it was apparently invented by us Brits. But GB has some serious prospects taking part in the Winter Youth Games. A unique version of Bobsleigh – called mono bob – debuts at these games. Mono bob consists of a single pilot who also acts as brakeman.
Coming off the back of super successful 2014 & 2015 seasons, Team GB’s Kelsey Purchall leads the team into Lillehammer as World number one. Hot on her runners will be Aimee Davey (who qualified third in the world for the games) and Annabel Chaffee, who held world No. 1 status at the end of the 2014/15 season. In the men’s event George Johnston from Taunton qualified for the games in World No.1 position.
Skeleton is a crazy sport – lie yourself down on little more that a tea tray and throw yourself down an ice-chute reaching speeds of 70mph+. But Team GB has a recent tradition of producing some super-quick Skeleton athletes. Aimee Williams, and more recently Lizzie Yarnold have a achieved stellar success in the women’s events (the former an Olympic Gold in Canada in 2010, the latter gaining Olympic gold in Sochi in 2014 and following up with the World Championship in 2015).
Our prospect for the Winter Youth Olympic is 15 year old Ashley Pittway. Born in Munich to an English Mother, she switched from German Team to Team GB last year. Having previously attained bronze in a European cup at Konigsee we’ll see whether being part of the Team GB trading regime can help her achieve success.
At least with Skeleton you can see where you’re going. There’s something properly bonkers about Luge. It’s feet first, so you’ve got to have strong neck muscles to see the track. Lucas Gebauer-Barrett is the Team GB member who has qualified and is gutsy enough to give the crazy Luge a go.
Team GB is fielding one team member in the Ice Hockey competition. Isn’t Ice Hockey a team sport we hear you ask? Hold your horses. In Lillehammer – as well as the men’s and women tournaments there’s also a skills challenge for each. Players from 16 nations will be competing across six skills events: fastest lap, shooting accuracy, skating agility, fastest shot, passing precision and puck control.
Team GB’s hope is Verity Lewis, at just 15 years of age, she’s recently been selected to be a member of Team GB’s U16 and U18 teams.
Whichever sport is your favourite, we hope you enjoy the complete range of snow and ice based sporting on offer at the Youth Winter Olympic games.
And – don’t forget – whether you’re a budding winter sports professional, or an enthusiastic amateur – our self storage is the perfect place to keep all your winter sports kit if you can’t fit it in at home.