Everything you need to know ahead of the Winter Youth Olympics as Team GB send largest ever squad to compete in Lausanne

Mani Cooper will compete in the first Youth Olympic Nordic combined event (GB Snowsport)
Mani Cooper will compete in the first Youth Olympic Nordic combined event (GB Snowsport)
21:35pm, Wed 08 Jan 2020
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On the eve of the opening ceremony of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, NewsChain brings you all you need to know ahead of the third edition of the event as well as potential stars to keep an eye out for.

This year's games take place from January 9 - January 22 in Lausanne, Switzerland with 1,783 athletes competing from 79 different nations, including the 28-strong British squad, while hosts Switzerland boast the largest squad of 112 competitors.

A total of 18 events will see athletes compete in 16 sporting disciplines over the 13 days. Male and female competitions are represented equally for the first time with 34 of each, while there will also be 13 mixed team (National Olympic Committee) events.

Ski mountaineering is the only completely new sport, while five other events will be making an appearance for the first time. These are the women's Nordic combined (ski-jumping and cross-country), mixed NOC 3x3 ice hockey, freeski big air, snowboard big air and women's double luge. 

While Lausanne is the primary location, specific requirements of events mean some will be taking place in the Jura mountains and others in the Alps. A full run-down of events and their locations can be found below.

Lausanne: Olympic village

Vaudoise Aréna - Opening and closing ceremonies, ice hockey finals, figure skating, short track skating

Le Flon - medal ceremonies

Jura Mountains 

Prémanon, France - ski jumping, biathlon, Nordic combined

Le Brassus - cross-country skiing

The Alps

Leysin – ski freestyle (slopestyle, halfpipe), snowboard (slopestyle, halfpipe)

Les Diablerets - alpine skiing

Villars-sur-Ollon - ski mountaineering, ski cross, snowboard cross

Champéry - curling

St Moritz - bobsleigh, luge, skeleton, speed skating, medal ceremonies

The sporting action kicks off on January 10 and the first medal to be awarded is expected to be the women's super-G skiing followed immediately by the men's competition.

Ski mountaineering will also be awarding two medals on the opening day as it makes its debut at the Villars Winter Park.

Girls to watch out for...

Abby Rowbotham is the youngest member of team GB at just 14 (rotheramadvisor)

Abby Rowbotham, 14, (GB) - Ice Hockey: Sheffield-born Abby is the youngest member of Team GB and the youngest player in the new 3x3 ice hockey competition. She has been playing the sport since the age of five.

She was evidently delighted with her selection, saying: "It is a massive honour to represent Great Britain at the Youth Olympics. I am looking forward to being involved in a very special event and to play a sport I love so much. 

"To be a small part of such a massive GB team across so many events is very humbling and I just can’t wait to get over there and for the action to begin.”

Mitsuki Ono competing in the women's halfpipe in Vail (Facebook: @burtonsnowboards)

Mitsuki Ono, 15, (Jap) - snowboard halfpipe: The two-time world junior champion heads into the games as firm favourite for the title but with the USA's Tessa Maud hot on her heels, the battle is building up to be a showstopper.

Britain's Mani Cooper prepares at the top of the ski jump ramp (GBSnowsport)

Mani Cooper, 16, (GB) - Nordic combined: Born in Austria, it is unsurprising that the youngster is such a whizz on skis. She heads to the games for the newly-introduced women's Nordic combined, which makes its Olympic debut and in doing so will become the first British woman to compete in an Olympic ski jumping event.

Dzenifera Germane is a strong medal contender for Latvia in the alpine skiing (Twitter: @avize_Liesma)

Dzenifera Germane, 16, (Lat) - alpine skiing: Dzenifera started skiing at the age of two and by the age of six had already been scouted for the Latvian national team. She is now looking to follow in the footsteps of two of the all-time greats of the sport, Lindsay Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin who have both medalled in the event at past games. 

Kelly Sildaru shows her class in the halfpipe (twitter: @DewTour)

Kelly Sildaru, 17, (Est) - snowboard halfpipe: Having missed out on a senior Olympic debut at Pyeongchang in 2018 due to injury, the Estonian still boasts a senior world title as well as medals in both big air and slopestyle in the X Games. 

Charlotte Longden celebrates her selection (WiltshireTimes)

Charlotte Longden, 17 (GB) - bobsleigh: Having changed disciplines from heptathlon to the single-handed monobob, Charlotte is taking on a bigger challenge than most.

She said: "My athletics coach saw an advert to give bobsleigh a go which I did and although it terrified me more than anything I'd ever done in my life it gives you the biggest adrenaline rush."

Let the games begin....

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