PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 11, 2016) – Two ski jumpers and one nordic combined skier have been nominated by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to the 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team that will compete in Lillehammer, Norway, February 12-21. Casey Larson, 15, (Barrington, IL/Norge Ski Club) was nominated to the men’s ski jumping team, with Logan Sankey, 15, (Steamboat Springs, CO/Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club) nominated to the women’s squad. Ben Loomis, 15, (Eau Claire, WI/Flying Eagles Ski Club) was nominated to represent Team USA in nordic combined.
The International Olympic Committee’s Youth Olympic Games offer a competitive venue for young athletes to not only compete, but also participate in a Learn & Share program designed to inspire and empower youth. The 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team will be formally named by the United States Olympic Committee in late January.
Larson and Sankey qualified for nomination based on results in ski jumping events in December at Steamboat Springs, CO and Park City, UT. Loomis earned his spot with a top-five finish in a FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup at the Utah Olympic Park and Soldier Hollow in Park City, UT in December.
Modeled after the Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games debuted its winter event in 2012 at Innsbruck, Austria. Held every four years, the Winter Youth Olympic Games will feature over 1,100 athletes, aged 15 to 18, from around the world.
The nordic combined event, along with individual ski jumping events for men and women, are set for February 16. A mixed team ski jumping event will be February 18.
Coupled with the competition, the Learn & Share program will offer young athletes the opportunity to become ambassadors of their sport through workshops and exercises based around five major themes: Olympism, Social Responsibility, Skills Development, Expression and Well-Being and Healthy Lifestyles.
2016 U.S. YOUTH OLYMPIC TEAM SKI JUMPING/NORDIC COMBINED NOMINEES
Nordic Combined Men
Ben Loomis (Eau Claire, WI, 15, Flying Eagles Ski Club): Loomis is following in the footsteps of older brother Adam, who competes on the World Cup tour. He solidified his spot on the team with an outstanding weekend in the FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup in Utah with a fourth-place finish. He was a member of the 2015 Junior Worlds Team that competed in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Ski Jumping Men
Casey Larson (Barrington, IL, 15, Norge Ski Club): Larson grew up ski jumping with the Norge Ski Club in suburban Chicago. He was third last season in the U.S. Junior National Championships and won the first of two qualifying events in Steamboat Springs, CO in December to help earn a nomination.
Logan Sankey (Steamboat Springs, CO, 15, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club): A member of the 2015 Junior Worlds Team that competed in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Sankey finished 11th and 16th in a FIS Continental Cup ski jumping event last January in Sweden.
The 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in Lillehammer, Norway, February 12-21.
It is the second installment of the Winter Youth Olympic Games and will feature over 1,100 young athletes aged 15-18 competing in winter events.
Alongside competition, the teens will also learn the spirit of the Olympic Games, so that they may become strong ambassadors of their sports.
The USOC will formally name the 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team in late January.
The jumping team was named based on two December competitions in Steamboat Springs, CO and Park City, UT.
The Nordic combined athlete was nominated based on results from the FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup in Utah.