WinSport, NSS play key role in Canada's team at World Youth Olympics

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Nearly 2,000 of the world’s elite young winter sport athletes will gather in Gangwon, South Korea, later this week to participate in the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

WinSport takes pride in its contribution to Canada’s team vying for gold, with 41 out of the 79-member Canadian team having trained or competed at WinSport’s facilities in Canada Olympic Park or Canmore. Notably, six members of the Canadian contingent are students at the WinSport-based National Sport School, including Halfpipe skiers Quincy Barr and Trent Morozumi; luge athlete Bastian van Wouw (pictured above); ski cross racers William “Kael” Johnston and Cole Merrett; and ski jumper Tarik VanWieren.

The Youth Olympic Games, occurring every four years, showcases athletes aged 14-18. This year’s edition unfolds in the same locale as the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games. The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, with events running through Feb. 2. Competition will take place in 81 events (32 women’s, 32 men’s, and 17 mixed) across seven sports and 15 disciplines.

Gangwon 2024 boasts the participation of 1,900 athletes representing over 80 National Olympic Committees, marking the largest Winter Youth Olympic Games since its inception in 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Among the athletes associated with WinSport’s facilities are four biathletes, two bobsledders, two lugers, one cross-country skier, two halfpipe skiers, four slopestyle/big air skiers, and one moguls skier. Seven hockey players have skated on WinSport’s ice, while six members of the snowboarding team have dropped into WinSport’s halfpipe, and four snowboarders have competed in either slopestyle or big air events.

Eight figure skaters are representing Canada, all of which were on the ice at the Canadian championships which were held last week at the WinSport Event Centre.

Kaiya Ruiter, who won the Canadian women’s title on Saturday, trains at WinSport with the CalAlta Figure Skating Club, winning the title at just 17 on her home ice.