Two Australians have featured in the Opening Ceremony of the Lillehammer Youth Olympic
Games in Norway, the night before the first full day of competition where six Aussies are in action.
￼Sydney snowboarder Emily Arthur, 16 carried the flag proudly and Melbourne short track speed
￼skater Julia Moore, 16, had a huge role speaking alongside IOC President Thomas Bach.
￼Representing the continent with great poise, Moore was asked to say why she loves the Youth
￼Olympic Games to people all over the world watching the live stream.
￼“Hi I’m Julia from Australia. I love YOG because it gives me the opportunity to meet athletes from all
￼around the world and travel to a place that’s so different from Australia,” Moore said in front of
￼1100 athletes and thousands of spectators in freezing conditions.
￼She was understandably very excited after the experience to play such a big role in the #iLoveYOG
￼“It was amazing, I was extremely nervous before hand but I’m so glad I did it. It was an unreal
And President Bach made an impact.
“We met him before we went on. He was really nice, he was a really friendly guy.” Moore will be back training on Saturday morning before her first competition on Sunday.
Arthur, from Woronora Heights in Sydney, got a real buzz from representing the Australian Team.
The Opening Ceremony of Lillehammer 2016 got the second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games off to a spectacular start at the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena, the same venue that hosted the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer in 1994.
In a nod to Lillehammer’s Olympic past, as well as to the youth and future, the YOG cauldron was lit by HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway. Exactly 22 years ago to the day, the 12‐year‐old
￼Arthur also competes on Sunday in the highly anticipated halfpipe event alongside her teammate
￼Mahalah Mullins. They will be up against X Games champion and United States flagbearer Chloe Kim
￼of the United States.
￼“Being the flag bearer was so crazy, there was so many people there cheering me on,” Arthur said
￼outside the stadium before getting a bus to Oslo.
￼“It’s our last training session before the halfpipe on Sunday which should be a really good
￼competition,” Mullins said.
Princess’s father, HRH Crown Prince Haakon, lit the same cauldron in 1994 to kick off Lillehammer’s first Olympic Games.
The Lillehammer Games in 1994 was when the men’s 5000m short track relay team won bronze to start the Australian Olympic winter podium streak
Bach addressed the athletes taking part in Lillehammer 2016 directly, saying: “These Games will be about your love for sport. They will also be about learning and sharing and about making new friends. This is what the Youth Olympic Games are all about: bringing young athletes together from all around the world to enjoy competition and friendship.”
The Opening Ceremony, which was directed by 34‐year‐old Sigrid Strøm Reibo, marks the start of 10 competition days for the 1,100 young athletes from 71 National Olympic Committees taking part in Lillehammer 2016. It tells the story of the journey of a young boy from his beginnings as an athlete who lives and loves for the joy that sport brings him.
Olympic champions were on hand to support the celebrations, with YOG Ambassador and figure skating Olympic champion Yuna Kim serving as an Olympic flag‐bearer, and six‐time Olympic gold medallist cross‐country skier Marit Bjørgen (NOR) carrying the Olympic flame into the stadium together with 19 young Change‐Makers from all over Norway. The torch was then passed on to HRH Princess Ingrid Alexandra.
The Games conclude on 21 February with Australia represented by 17 athletes across alpine skiing, biathlon, cross country skiing, ice hockey skills, freestyle skiing, luge and snowboarding.