Today was the final day of racing for Annika Richardson (BC) and Levi Nadlersmith (Manitoba) at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. On the agenda were the 10 and 5k skate races. There were larger crowds lining the course with temperatures around -5 deg. C. and the trails were hard packed.
Annika post race
Annika Richardson changed her mental focus a bit for today's race and it paid off with a strong 16th place result. Annika had been on the edge of the top 10 at the halfway point of the race.
The race was won by Russian skier Maya Yakunina. Chunxue Chi of China had a good result for a country that continues to develop their ski program, with silver. China had grabbed gold in the biathlon relay earlier in the week. Finland took the bronze with Rebecca Imonen.
On the men's side Levi had what he considered to be his best result of the Games, after being hampered by the aftermath of a cold all week. Levi finished 28th, in a race that was won by another partial Asian surprise. Magnus Kim of South Korea added another gold, to his collection of silver and gold from earlier in the week showing the country that will host the 2018 Olympics is also improving their ski program. Silver went to Norway's Vebjoern Hegdal and Ogor Fedotov of Russia claimed bronze.
That wraps up the YOG and first international efforts for the Canadian cross-country skiers, an experience that should be good preparation for future opportunities they may qualify for.