Lausanne, January 9, 2020 – The third Winter Youth Olympic Games that take place from January 9 to 22, 2020 in Lausanne and St. Moritz, were officially opened with the ceremony held at the Vaudoise Arena in Lausanne, Switzerland, before 8,000 spectators. A total of 1880 female athletes from 79 countries, aged 15-18, participated in 16 sports. During the ceremonial march to Lausanne, the Croatian flag-bearer was biathlete and cross-country skier Nika Jagečić.
It is interesting that the Parade of Nations, consisting of 225 participants at the Winter Olympics who will be staying in St. Moritz, took place at the same time.
Croatia is represented by 10 male and female athletes in six sports: Tvrtko Ljutić (Alpine Skiing), Doris Barićevac, Sven Kuprešak and Nika Jagečić (Biathlon), Toni Nimac (Bobsleigh/Monobob), Luka Banek (Ice Hockey 3x3), Maja Ivandić and Stribor Suman (Speed Skating – Short Track), Tena Hadžić, Petar Perušić and Nika Jagečić (Cross-Country Skiing). Croatia also has a Coaching representative at these Olympics, where one of the eight mixed teams will be led by Marko Valenčić, a former Croatian hockey player, working in the past couple of years as coach in Finland.
After Innsbruck 2012 and Lillehammer 2016, Lausanne is hosting the third edition of Winter Youth Olympics, and for the first time, it has equal number of female and male athletes. On the Opening day of the Games, the legendary athlete Usain Bolt sent a motivational video message to young Olympians.
Concerning the Croatian representatives, on the first day of competing (Friday), Alpine Skier Tvrtko Ljutić will compete in Super-G and Luka Banek in Mixed Ice Hockey 3x3 tournament. (COC/VK)