TASS athletes hope for a warm welcome at Winter Youth Olympics

More than 1,800 of the world’s fastest-rising snow sports stars go head-to-head this month as the Winter Youth Olympic Games take centre stage.

And TASS athletes will be bidding to freeze out the opposition as the very best in homegrown talent takes on the rest of the world at a slew of Europe’s leading winter sports destinations.

The Youth Olympic Games brings together athletes aged 15-18 from across the world. Four of the 28 athletes selected to represent Great Britain are supported by TASS.

And hopes are high that the ice cool quartet will inspire future generations to chase international glory as part of a dual career approach to sport.

Olivia Weedon (Short Track Speedskater), Sophie Foster (Alpine Skier), Robert Holmes (Alpine Skier) and Jasper Klein (Freestyle Skier) are TASS-backed stars of the future.

And Guy Taylor, National Director of TASS, said: “We wish all of our supported athletes the very best of luck and we’re very proud to see them taking the next step in their sporting journey.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting fortnight of winter sports action and it will be fascinating to see the stars of the future make their mark on the international stage.”

Lausanne – the home of the International Olympic Committee – hosts the Games until January 22.

Jasper Klein in Freestyle action at last year’s British Championships

Sixteen disciplines will generate 81 gold medals with 3,000 volunteers promising a warm welcome in chilly Europe.

But Lausanne is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the multi-base Olympic event. It will host the Youth Olympic village, medal ceremonies and the ice sports of ice hockey, short track speed skating and figure skating. Alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, freestyle skiing and snowboarding take place in the Vaud Alps, while the curlers head to Champery.

The Nordic skiing events take place in the Vallee de Joux and ski jumping, biathlon and Nordic combined are hosted at the Tuffes site in neighbouring France.

Bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and speed skating take place in St. Moritz.

Ski mountaineering is the most radical new sport to be approved for the Lausanne 2020 programme.

The lung-busting new addition involves scaling mountains on skis (or carrying them depending on the severity of the ascent), before skiing back down.

New disciplines have also been introduced to reflect innovation and gender equality. They include mixed-nationality 3×3 ice hockey, a women’s doubles competition in luge and a women’s Nordic combined ski event.

“The confirmed event programme means full gender balance for the first time at a Winter Olympic event, with the highest number of women’s events and highest number of women competing at the Winter YOG,” said the IOC.

Success in winter sport is written into TASS’ history: Shelley Rudman was the first TASS-supported athlete to win an Olympic medal with her silver in the skeleton at Turin 2006.

Twenty-five TASS alumni competed in PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics.