Norway's mixed curlers draw on Lillehammer 2016 inspiration to claim gold while speed skating concludes at halfway point of Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games
It was a fairytale gold for Norway's mixed curling team at the mid-point of the Lausanne Winter Youth Olympics as the players demonstrated the power of the Olympic legacy.
The mixed team comprised two female curlers, Nora Oestgaard and Ingeborg Forbregd, accompanied by male duo Lukas Hoestmaelingen and Grunde Buraas, both from Lillehammer.
The quartet edged out their Japanese opponents 5-4 in a tense final that required an extra end to decide the winner, but it was the Olympic legacy that won out on the day.
“Both Lukas and I come from Lillehammer and the curling rink was built just for the Youth Olympics, so if it wasn’t for the event we wouldn’t even be playing,” said Buraas.
Hoestmaelingen echoed his team-mate's sentiments adding: “We watched almost every game at Lillehammer 2016. I stayed at the rink all day instead of going to school.
“We decided to try out the sport. If you told me that four years later I would be here with a gold medal, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s amazing to have a medal around my neck. It is heavier than I thought. My neck is tired,” he joked.
"The mixed team was a really nice experience. We usually play boys against boys, and girls against girls, so this was very interesting. We’ve made lots of friends and the experience has been great.”
In the bronze medal match, it was victory for Russia who beat New Zealand 9-5.
Elsewhere at the halfway mark, the final speed skating medals were awarded as the event reached its conclusion with both the women's and the men's mass start events.
In what is always a chaotic event, victory went to China's Binyu Yang ahead of Czech skater, Zuzana Kursova followed by Italy's Katia Filippi.
The men's final saw a victory for Motonaga Arito from Japan. Diego Amaya Martinez from Colombia came through for the silver with Russia's Pavel Taran claiming the bronze.
Competition continues on Friday with further ice hockey competitions and the first of the luge medals on offer in the women's single and men's double events.