Lillehammer 2016 YOG Report - Feb 15 »

It was a chilly day in Lillehammer, -21 deg. C. as the athletes headed up to the race site for the classic sprint event. Fortunately the temperature warmed up to -13 by race time.


The tracks were firm and the courses tough and long, with a fair number of spectators out to cheer the athletes on. Annika Richardson and Levi Nadlersmith both finished 33rd in qualifying and therefore didn't manage to advance to their respective quarter-finals. Neither athlete felt they were able to put in their best performances and are looking to improve their placings in Thursday's skate event.

Levi Nadlersmith (Manitoba) racing in sprint qualifying

The women's race was won by Johanna Hagstroem of Sweden and the men's race by Thomas Helland Larsen of Norway. Magnus Kim of Korea looks to be a strong talent for the country that will host the 2018 Olympics, placing 2nd today after winning the Cross-Country Cross event on Saturday.

Full video of Saturday’s Cross-County Cross finals: 
Cross-County Cross results: Women -;  Men -
Cross-County Cross audio interview with Annika Richardson -
Cross-County Cross audio interview with Levi Nadlersmith -

Tuesday results: Men -; Women - 
Tuesday audio interview with Annika Richardson - 
Tuesday audio Interview with Levi Nadlersmith -

Lisa Patterson the Team Leader said the YOG event has been a good learning experience for the Canadian duo as outlined in Annika’s update below. As a multi-sport event there are a lot of distractions and added extras to deal with compared to a regular ski race. “There is always that extra energy that a games suck out of you. You have to walk quite a bit to go for meals and this is energy zapping.”

Annika Richardson (BC)

Annika Update from after the Cross-Country Cross:

Usually during an evening leading up to a big race, I go to my team meeting, I make a detailed race plan, relax, pack my bag and get to bed quite early. However, Friday was not a normal pre-race evening as I spent it eating a very early dinner, having a quick pep-rally with Team Canada and then marching uphill with 1000 other athletes to attend a 2-hour outside opening ceremonies. I got back to my room at 21h00 and frantically made a rough race plan, packed my bag and set out my race suit. I went to sleep nearly too exhausted to even think that I was going to be competing at the Youth Olympic Games the very next morning.

The Cross Country Ski Cross was a brand new event for me. Initially I was apprehensive about all the technical aspects but after training I knew it was completely doable and really fun. The qualifier went all right, I had some good sections on the first big climb but did not anticipate how tired I was to be going through the bicycle bumps. The big 1-meter drop flew by no problem and I hit the big sweeping corner a bit to tight forcing me to skid and check some of my speed.

Before I knew it, my heat was being called and it seemed very surreal. My head was not totally in the game at the start. I gained a lot of momentum and my body felt awesome. When we hit uphill slalom and I starting making up some of the time I had lost a bit, star-struck off the mark. I finished wishing it had been a tad longer so that I could have got the girl the teensiest bit ahead of me at the line.

So far, YOG has kept me busy non-stop, be it walking to the meal hall, to going through security, to taking the bus to train and finally to racing and recovering. I am so excited for the classic sprint and skate 5km. Go Canada Go!     Annika Richardson

The team with Vegard Ulvang, Norwegian ski legend, Chair of the FIS Cross Country Committee who has won three Olympic gold medals, two silver, and one bronze.