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The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games took place in 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria. The 2016 event will take place Feb. 12-21 in Lillehammer, Norway. The playdown to determine Team USA will take place Nov. 2-8 at curling's National Training Center in Blaine, Minn. 

Fast facts:

  • Age group: 14-17 (athletes must be born between Jan. 1, 1998 and Dec. 31, 2001)
  • Mixed competition: 16 teams competing in two groups
  • Mixed doubles: 32 teams (athletes will be paired with someone from a different country for this portion)
  • Games: 8 ends in length
  • Venue: Lillehammer Curling Arena
  • When: Feb. 12-21

Two curling competitions – a mixed competition with teams of four athletes and international mixed doubles event, which brought together athletes to form international teams of two. 

The Youth Olympic Games aims to bring the Olympic ideals closer to young people around the world, and, following the success of the first Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, the stage was set for the first-ever winter version.

While sports participation is at the heart of the Youth Olympic Games, uniquely, they also aim to allow athletes to step away from their own fields of play and learn something about the culture of competitors from other parts of the world, as well as becoming involved in Olympic-themed education programs.

Altogether 16 mixed curling teams (two junior men and two junior women aged between 16 years and 2 weeks old to 18 years and 2 weeks old at the time of the event) competed at the 2012 event. Countries qualified via a formal qualifying procedure based on performances at the 2011 WCF European Challenge, Pacific and World junior championship events.


USA's Korey Dropkin (far right) won bronze in mixed doubles in 2012.