My Experience at Youth Olympic Games 2020 by James Slimon
As part of the second wave of athletes to compete at the games, we arrived on the 16th of January at the beginning of the second week. From when we first arrived, everyone was very helpful and supportive towards me and the rest of the team. We all met up in Team GB HQ for a welcome meeting before our first day at the Youth Olympics.
Our first day we had a training session to see the course and test some different skis before our first race the next morning. The course was very challenging and the conditions made it even more so. Our first race was a ski cross, something I had not done before so it was good to use as a warm race to prepare for the next two races and help calm the nerves. The ski cross event involved a jump, uneven ground and some sharp turns.
The second race was a skate sprint. Sprints are not my strongest event so this was also a personal challenge. The first hill was very steep and hard work, followed by a very technical downhill. In both the ski cross and the sprint I placed higher than my seeding which I was pleased with. After a couple days of racing we had a rest day before the 10km classic race the following day. This gave me a bit of time to recover and get some energy back.
On the day of the 10km we had a bit of a later start as I didn’t start until 1pm. When I arrived I tested a couple pairs of skis before I started warming up for the race. The race was very tough and again the track conditions made it more technically challenging. I didn’t have as good a race as I hoped for but it was still a good result.
The final day was a good day to go and see other sports. I went with my family to the Olympic Museum and then we went and watched the ice hockey match for the bronze medal. That night was the closing ceremony which was really exciting walking in with the other athletes from around the world and the rest of Team GB.
Going to YOG was an amazing and unforgettable experience. I’m very grateful for the support of British Ski and Snowboard foundation at YOG and Project Lillehammer along with Snowsports Scotland and GB Snowports. Without their support this year I wouldn’t have been able to compete at the 2020 Youth Olympics games.