The price is right for cross-country skier Young

23 January 2014 / 10:48
Andrew Young is feeling the pinch as he prepares to make his second Olympic appearance – but he insists he’s happy paying the price of living with the best in Norway.
Young was officially confirmed on Britain’s 56-strong team for next month’s Sochi 2014 Games on Wednesday morning as part of an all-Aberdeenshire cross-country skiing team.
The 21-year-old finished a best of 60th in the sprint on his Olympic debut at Vancouver but is now four years older and based in Norway along with compatriot Andrew Musgrave.
It is a move that Young admits has left him out of pocket with the price of a newspaper bordering on £2.50 in Norway and a double room in a budget hotel almost £100.
But, based in Lillehammer, Young is happy living hand to mouth in a nation that has won by far and away more cross-country skiing Winter Olympic medals than anyone else.
“I live off the equivalent of Tesco value products. The cheapest bread you can buy, the cheapest meals and a lot of bananas,” he said.
“But I’m supported by the Scottish Institute of Sport so training is no cost to me, just the travel to the training camps.
“Fortunately my mum is a doctor as well so she’s supported me over the last few years and helped me out with training.
“But I would not be the skier I am today if I hadn’t moved. I believe that as long as I’m skiing I need to focus on it 100 per cent, I don’t want to do something with half my focus.
“I want to give it the best shot I can. I can’t focus on skiing when I’m 40; I’ve got to give it my best shot now.
“And there are so many skiers in town. You can’t really get around without bumping into someone. It’s a bit of a Mecca. It’s a good environment to ski in.”
Britain has very much been on the lips of the Norwegian cross-country skiing fraternity in the build up to Sochi 2014 with Musgrave winning the sprint at their national championships.
And Young, who has finished a best of 29th in the sprint in this season’s World Cup series, admits his compatriot’s performances are naturally an inspiration going into the Games.
“It’s great to have him around. I can try and learn a lot from him because he’s a fantastic skier. He can push me in training,” he added.
“And I’d like to think he can learn some stuff from me as well. It’s great to have another skier from the same country because we can work together.”