Sports Winter games of the youth: a bit Olympic (neue-deutschland.de)

Winter games of the youth: a bit Olympic (neue-deutschland.de)

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Youth Olympic test field: Ski mountaineering is part of the competition program at the winter games in Lausanne – uphill, downhill, mostly on skis, sometimes on foot. In 2026 the sport could already be Olympic.

Photo: imago images / Joel Marklund

Experts speak briefly of Skimo. The sport is officially called ski mountaineering. It is translated with ski mountaineering. For some, it is simply more difficult touring. No matter what it is called – it is terribly exhausting and now a bit Olympic. "Probably at the 2022 IOC meeting in Beijing," according to Roberto Cavallo, Secretary General of the World Mountaineering Association, it will be decided whether the sport will also be an Olympic event in Italy four years later.

At the third Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, ski mountaineering is the only new one among eight sports. The athletes had to master two climbs and two descents. German coach Hermann Gruber was delighted after the fifth place in his relay quartet on Tuesday: »We had flirted with a place in the top five. It's great that it worked. «

In general, the games are an experimental field for new disciplines: from the summer youth games in Buenos Aires in 2018, for example, breakdance made it into the Paris 2024 Olympic program. Most important, however, "is the experience of young people that counts," said the IOC President Thomas Bach. "The Youth Olympic Games are there for you to familiarize yourself with the Olympic family and its values, that is a priority." Medals and titles should not be the focus – only the Olympic anthem is played at the awards ceremony.

Attempts are also being made in terms of sports policy. Lausanne 2020 is the first cross-border Olympic event: biathlon will be held in the French Jura. Something like this could serve as a model for the great Olympia, whose statutes meanwhile allow this internationality. The 2022 Youth Summer Games in Senegal's capital Dakar are also the first time that Olympic competitions have taken place on the African continent. The Youth Winter Games 2024 were awarded by the IOC to the South Korean Olympic region in 2018 in order to use existing sports facilities again.

Skimo fits well into the image that is more sustainable, which Olympia would like to draw from after the ecologically damaging winter games in Pyeongchang 2018, but especially in Sochi 2014. The sport produces beautiful pictures, but no new facilities need to be hewn into the mountains for them. "It is very ecological," emphasized World Association President Thomas Kähr. "We could be a real asset to the Olympic Games."

The German Olympic Sports Federation is with a team of 90 people at the games in Lausanne. The 16-year-old Lara Klein had won the first German podium with bronze in the slalom. The most sonorous name is Victoria Stirnemann. The 17-year-old is Germany's greatest speed skating talent and is trained by her mother, the three-time Olympic champion Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann. On Lake St. Moritz, she was fourth, almost half a second short of bronze, over 1500 meters. "Of course you dream of more," she admitted. Medals are not that unimportant. dpa / nd

. (TagsToTranslate) IOC (t) Ski (t) Winter Sport

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