One year until the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer
Altenberg/Lillehammer (RWH) One year from now, the competitions of the second Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will get underway in Lillehammer (NOR). Many of the winners and medallists at the inaugural YOG, which was held three years ago, have since tasted World Cup action and are currently preparing for the FIBT Bob & Skeleton Junior World Championships 2015 in Altenberg (GER) on 14 and 15 February.
Jacqueline Lölling (GER, women’s skeleton), Sebastian Bernecker (GER, men’s skeleton), Marije van Huigenbosch/Sanne Dekker (NED, two-woman bobsleigh) and Patrick Baumgartner/Alessandro Grande (ITA, two-man bobsleigh) made history by becoming the first-ever Youth Olympic Champions at the 2012 games in Innsbruck (AUT). By and large, these young competitors have remained loyal to the ice track ever since. Jacqueline Lölling won the Junior World Championships in 2014 and will secure her place at the BMW FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championships on home soil in Winterberg if she retains her title this weekend in Altenberg.
The same applies to Marije van Huigenbosch and Patrick Baumgartner, who have since made their débuts in the Viessmann FIBT World Cup Tour. Brakewoman Sanne Dekker, who now competes for Austria in the World Cup, is working with pilot Christina Hengster to prepare for the “main event”, the World Cup in Winterberg.
Also set to compete at the Junior World Championships in Altenberg are YOG medal-winners Benjamin Maier (AUT), who took silver in the two-man bobsleigh and has twice finished eighth in the four-man event at the Viessmann FIBT World Cup, British racer Mica McNeill (silver medallist in the two-woman bobsleigh), and bob pilot Rudy Rinaldi, who won the first Olympic medal for Monaco when he took bronze in Innsbruck. Kimberly Bos from the Netherlands, third at the YOG in the two-woman bobsleigh, has now switched disciplines and will represent her country in the skeleton event in Altenberg. Silver medallist Carina Mair from Austria, the youngest skeleton athlete in the Viessmann FIBT World Cup, and recently ninth in St. Moritz, and teammate Stefan Geisler are also due to compete at the Junior World Championships.
A total of 130 young athletes from 15 nations will take to the track in Altenberg. The Junior World Champions will automatically qualify for the BMW FIBT Bob & Skeleton World Championships 2015 in Winterberg (23 February - 8 March).
The schedule for Altenberg:
Sat 14/02/15 from 9:00 am: men’s and women’s skeleton
From 2:00 pm: two-man and two-woman bobsleigh
Sun 15/02/15 from 10:00 am: four-person bobsleigh