Greater Trail athletes compete at Youth Olympics

Two Team Canada Greater Trail athletes wrapped up competition at the Youth Olympic Games, Wednesday

Greater Trail athletes Jasmine Drolet and Sage Stefani wound up their competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switz. this week with impressive results.

Racing against the world’s best, the 17-year-old Drolet finished 17th out of more than 80 cross-country skiers and was the top Canadian in the 5-km Classic on Tuesday. The top-20 finish followed a 20th placing in the women’s free sprint, and a 34th placing in the cross-country cross free skate.

“Overall her (Jasmine’s) results were good,” said Black Jack ski coach David Wood. “She had a crash today that would have cost a couple of places, so her skiing speed was good. The sprint was also good, she qualified and was fourth in a fast heat.”

Drolet returns to Quebec City to compete in the World Junior/U23 Cross Country Ski Championship Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.

Stefani raced to a very respectable ninth-place in women’s ski cross on Sunday at Villars Winter Park, while teammate Marie-Pier Brunet came fifth in ski cross.

Meanwhile, Calgary skier Andrew Longino captured Canada’s first gold medal at the Youth Olympics on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old Longino won the men’s ski halfpipe event, scoring 94 points. Later, Longino was named Canada’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony on Wednesday.

“It’s a true honour,” Longino said. “I’ve been watching the Olympics since I was a kid and to bring the flag in and lead the country into the closing ceremony will be very special and I feel very honoured and very lucky.”

Canada finished with eight medals at the Youth Olympics after notching a pair of third-place showings on the 13th and final day of the event on Wednesday.

Liam Brearley of Gravenhurst, Ont., won his third medal of the Youth Olympics, claiming bronze in the men’s big air final after winning bronze in the men’s snowboard halfpipe and silver in snowboard slopestyle earlier.

Brearley is the first Canadian to win three medals at a winter Youth Olympics.

Meanwhile, the Canadian men’s hockey team beat Finland 4-2 to take bronze. It marks the third straight time Canada has won bronze at the event, held every four years.

Cedrick Guindon had two goals for Canada, while Antonin Verreault and Nate Danielson added singles.

“I just did what I had to do. I went out there and gave everything I had,” said Guindon. “I think everyone bought into their role and made sure we were on the right track to get the win.”

In curling mixed doubles, Nathan Young of Torbay, N.L., teamed up with Hungary’s Laura Nagy to beat a team from France and Russia for gold. The medal does not count in the medal standings because two countries combined for it.

Canada finished with one gold, two silver and five bronze medals, while the Russian Federation topped all countries with 10 gold, 11 silver, and eight bronze, followed by Switzerland, 10G, 6S, 8B.

Canada sent 77 athletes to the event. A total of 1,872 young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from 79 countries took part in 81 events in eight sports and 16 disciplines at eight competition venues in the cantons of Vaud, Valais, Grisons (St. Moritz) and in neighbouring France (Les Rousses, Stade des Tuffes).

For the first time in a Winter Olympics competition, there was an equal number of men and women.

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