U.S. Ski & Snowboard has recently announced the six American junior skiers, three men and three women, who will represent the U.S. at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics in Gangwon, South Korea.
Per a USSS press release, the athletes and their club affiliations are:
- Sydney Drevlow, Loppet Nordic Racing
- Neve Gerard, Mount Bachelor Ski Education Foundation
- Rose Horning, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail
- Benjamin Barbier, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club
- Tabor Greenberg, Green Mountain Valley School
- Landon Wyatt, Bridger Ski Foundation
The Youth Olympic Games are open to athletes aged 15 to 18 years old. All six cross-country skiers listed above are currently 17. American representatives were chosen based on their race results last ski season. There is, unsurprisingly, a fair amount of overlap between last year’s Nordic Nations/U18 roster and this year’s Youth Olympics roster.
Nordic events at the 2024 Games will be held at the Alpensia Biathlon Centre, which is adjacent to the Alpensia “here comes Diggins!” Cross-Country Skiing Centre.Embed from Getty Images
This will be the fourth iteration of the Youth Winter Olympics, following Seefeld in 2012, Lillehammer in 2016, and Jura, Switzerland (Goms for nordic events), in 2020. America’s first two cross-country skiing medals at the Youth Olympic Games came in 2020, when Will Koch took bronze in the 10km classic and Kendall Kramer took bronze in the 5km classic (embedded photo above). This year’s Games will feature equal-distance racing.
Here are the medalists in nordic skiing across the first three iterations of these Games. Some names are highly recognizable now (Jonna Sundling, Anamarija Lampič, Johanna Hagström, Moa Lundgren, Edvin Anger). Others are less so (quick, tell me the first thing that comes to mind when I say “Slovenian skier Lea Einfalt”). Talent identification in youth sports is hard, actually.
(As just one of many examples, which hopefully is not picking on a then-junior athlete too much, in the boys skate sprint at the 2012 Youth Winter Olympics, Andreas Molden of Norway won the qual and every heat en route to a dominant victory. One Richard Jouve of France sneaked into qualifying in 28th, then went out in his quarterfinal — he was edged out by the sole American in the race, Patrick Caldwell — to end his day in 24th overall. Molden’s last FIS race was in January 2014. Jouve now has two Olympic medals, two World Championships medals, and one Sprint Globe to his name. There are a lot of different paths to the top, and sometimes that path takes a long time to traverse.)
Anyway, here are cross-country ski medalists from the first three times these Games were held. All images are screenshots from Wikipedia. 2012 is first, then 2016, then 2020.
Nordic events at the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics will be held across four days over the end of January and the start of February. There will be a skate sprint, a 7.5-kilometer interval-start classic race, and a mixed-gender 4 x 5km relay. Streaming should be available through the main event site.
— Gavin Kentch