Skiing tips for the Youth Olympic Games don’t come much more sought after than from the most successful downhill athlete of all time and that’s exactly what Team GB’s two alpine skiers were treated to when Lindsey Vonn visited the Youth Olympic Village.
The 2010 Olympic Champion, who’s an ambassador for Lillehammer 2016, talked everything skiing with Yasmin Cooper and Iain Innes, inspiring the latter to a personal best in today’s giant slalom event as the Edinburgh man came down 17th in 2:41.94.
Innes finished 6.89 seconds off eventual winner America’s River Radamus in the field of 60 and heeded Vonn’s advice to challenge himself on the slopes.
“The key things I learnt from her were to never hold back and keep pushing yourself in the sport,” said Innes.
“It takes a long time to progress in skiing and there are times where you lack motivation and you need to push through it whether you’re Lindsey Vonn or anyone else.
“Conditions were difficult but my first run was amazing. I just went for it and finished 21st from bib 36 so gained a fair few places which I’m really happy with.
“My second wasn't as good and I made a couple of mistakes but am still really happy with a top 20 finish.”
Tomorrow sees Cooper tackle the slalom course and for the 17-year-old there’s no better role model in the sport than the American winner of 76 World Cup races.
“It was such a cool experience to meet my biggest role model and to get to talk her about achieving my goal of being like her,” said Cooper.
“It’s going to be one of my lasting memories. I’ve looked up to her for so long and her determination and drive. To see her and meet her just makes this whole experience at the Youth Olympics just that much better.
“Yesterday in the giant slalom I attacked the course with my full commitment and really went for it. Unfortunately it didn’t work out but I’ll have her words ringing in my ears on the start line tomorrow and will look to do Lindsey proud.”
Day 7 at Lillehammer 2016
Ladies' Giant Slalom, 09:00-12:20; Yasmin Cooper