by Anne Calder | Photo by Daphne Backman
Six American figure skaters will be among the 1100 athletes from more than 70 nations who will compete at the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre in Lillehammer, for the second Winter Youth Olympic Games. The event is hosted by the International Olympic Committee and held every four years uses the same format as the winter and summer Games. In 2012, Russia’s Anna Yanovskaya & Sergey Mozgov won the inaugural event in Innsbruck, Austria.
Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye are the lone U.S. entrants in ice dancing. The duo trains in Novi, Michigan with Coach Igor Shpilband. Lewis & Bye qualified for the event in Lake Placid, NY in July 2015. The junior team was sixth at the 2016 US Nationals in St. Paul, MN.
Lewis (15) & Bye (17) began skating together in 2010 at the suggestion of former ice dance Olympian Judy Blumberg, They will perform two programs, their short dance to Leonard Bernstein’s “Valse Triste” and their tango free program to “Soledad” by Gidon Kremer and Astor Piazzolla’s “Miloga Loca” and “Tristeza Separacion”.
Lewis recently had this to say about her upcoming Youth Olympic Games debut:
“We are so honored and excited to be representing the United States, US Figure Skating, and for the opportunity to compete in the Youth Olympics. That might sound really cliché and predictable, but it’s the truth! We are already so excited and lucky to be on Team USA, so to be able to travel to Norway with Team USA athletes from all other disciplines is incredible.
Going to the Olympics has been our dream ever since we began skating, so being able to go to the Youth Olympics is so motivating and inspiring. We’re going to make sure we soak up the experience as much as possible and let it inspire us to work as hard as possible to make it to the Olympics some day.
From what we have seen and heard, the Youth Olympics is an amazing event that gives athletes who are beginning their career the chance to experience different cultures and get a taste of what they’re working for.
We are so ready for it!”
The main objectives of the Youth Olympic Games as listed by the International Olympic Committee’s YOG fact sheet:
1. To bring together and celebrate the world’s best young athletes
2. To propose a unique and powerful introduction to Olympism
3. To innovate in educating and discussing the Olympic values and societal challenges
4. To share and celebrate the cultures of the world in a festive atmosphere
5. To reach youth communities throughout the world to promote the Olympic values
6. To raise sports awareness and participation among young people
7. To act as a platform for new initiatives and ideas within the Olympic Movement
8. To organize an event of the highest international sporting standards.