The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is an international multi-sport event held every four years, bringing together talented young athletes from around the world. This prestigious event showcases the incredible skills, determination, and sportsmanship of upcoming athletes around the world, and Team GB impressed across the board, including an ice dance podium for skaters Ashlie Slatter and Atl Ongay-Perez.
British Ice Skating sent a very impressive team away with Team GB to Gangwon, Korea. This team included short track speed skaters Willem Murray and Freddie Polak, ice dancers Ashlie Slatter & Atl Ongay-Perez, and Men’s figure skater Tao MacRae.
Willem Murray was selected by fellow Team GB athletes to be the flag bearer for the opening ceremony. “Being selected to represent my country is something so special, to be able to carry the flag at the opening ceremony is just something else!”
Tao was first to take the ice in Korea, skating his short program at the Gangneung Ice Arena. Tao opened his Youth Olympic campaign with an incredible Short Program achieving a Personal best score of 59.49, putting him into 8th place leading into the Free program. The excited Korean crowd welcomed Tao back out on to the ice for his Free Program, he gave it his all on the ice and managed to achieve a score of 112.12. Placing him 12th overall.
The Men’s Short Track Speed Skaters, Freddie and Willem, were next to take the ice in the home country of Short Track Speed Skating. The first distance was the 1500m were we saw Willem race his heart out and fight his way into the B final achieving a Personal Best on the way. He managed to produce a 3rd Place finish, putting him 10th Overall. Freddie was given a penalty in the 1500m quarterfinals meaning he would miss out on the later rounds. The 1000m followed a few days later, Freddie was drawn into a tough first heat racing against medallists from the 1500m. He was just short of qualifying finishing 3rd in his heat and 23rd overall. Willem was all eyes on for the 1000m and was looking for another final finish, he was successful in doing so, finishing 3rd in the B final and 8th overall. The final event in Korea was the 500m. Freddie finished 22nd overall. Willem achieved a Personal Best of 42.565 and finished 14th overall.
Ice dancers Ashlie & Atl were the ones to watch in Korea and were the final athletes to take to the ice. The Rhythm Dance was first up for the duo. Unfortunately, they took a fall on their first element but came back fighting strong and finished their program with heads held high, knowing it was still all to play for in the Free Dance. The couple took to the ice knowing that they needed to have a clean skate to be in for a shot on the podium. They started off very strong and carried confidence the whole way through program, skating into a Personal Best and a spot on the Podium finishing 3rd Overall, securing a Bronze medal!
Some incredible results from this years Youth Olympic Games with an impressive 6 PB’s achieved. A top 12 Finish, 2x top 10s and a Bronze medal. We are very excited to see how these youngsters all develop and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.