COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee today announced the 62-member 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team that will compete at the second Winter Youth Olympic Games from Feb. 12-21 in Lillehammer, Norway. The 10-day competition for athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 will feature all 15 sport disciplines on the program for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. More than 1,100 athletes from nearly 70 nations are expected to participate.
“We are excited to announce the talented group of athletes who will represent Team USA in Lillehammer, where they will be exposed to world-class competition and cultural diversity,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “The Youth Olympic Games are an important asset to furthering the Olympic values and encouraging worldwide youth participation in sport. Most of our young athletes will be representing Team USA for the first time on the world stage, and I wish them all a fantastic sporting and cultural experience.”
The Youth Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event held every two years consistent with the current format of the Olympic Games. A hallmark of the event is a unique culture and education program – Learn & Share – that is designed to equip athletes with the skills they need to succeed both on and off the field of play.
“The Youth Olympic Games are a great way of instilling the values of education, culture and community in young athletes worldwide, while promoting the harmonious development of youth through sport,” said Wes Barnett, two-time Olympian and chef de mission for Team USA. “As our athletes strive to fulfill their athletic potential in Lillehammer, this experience will also inspire friendships and fond memories to last a lifetime.”
The 62-member U.S. roster is comprised of 42 men and 20 women – an increase from the 57 athletes who represented Team USA at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games that took place in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012. Team USA will be represented in all 15 sport disciplines.
Building on the successful debut of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, the Lillehammer 2016 Games will feature 70 medal events, including several innovative events that are not on the Olympic program. Among the non-Olympic events are a skills challenge in ice hockey, and mixed gender and/or mixed country team events for alpine skiing, biathlon, curling, luge, figure skating, Nordic skiing, speedskating, and a combination of freestyle skiing and snowboarding. The 2016 program also features seven new medal events – including the debut of monobob, cross-country cross, biathlon super sprint and a Nordic team event – as well as a mass start event for speedskating, which will debut in Lillehammer before appearing on the Olympic program in 2018.
Non-athlete participants are also an integral part of the Youth Olympic Games experience. After being named the first Youth Olympic Games Ambassador for the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, three-time Olympian Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing) will reprise her role for the 2016 Games. Additionally, U.S. Olympic medalists Hannah Kearney (freestyle skiing), Ross Powers (snowboarding) and Molly Schaus (ice hockey) are among the 15 athletes selected by the IOC to serve as Athlete Role Models in Lillehammer.
“The Youth Olympic Games offer a unique blend of elite competition, a festive atmosphere and the opportunity for young people to be inspired and learn through sport,” said Angela Ruggiero, U.S. Olympic champion in ice hockey and chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Lillehammer 2016. “The YOG Ambassadors and Athlete Role Models have a wealth of knowledge to share with the young athletes, many of whom will be experiencing their first multi-sport international competition.”
Coverage of the 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org/Lillehammer2016 and
Team USA’s social channels utilizing #Lillehammer2016.
Click here to view the complete 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team roster.
Lillehammer 2016 – By the Numbers
70 National Olympic Committees
70 medal events
150 cultural events
15 sport disciplines
14 days of Learn & Share activities (Feb. 8-21)
10 competition days
9 competition venues
5 districts (Gjøvik, Hamar, Lillehammer, Oslo and Øyer)
1 past Olympic Games in Lillehammer (1994)
Team USA Notes
- The 2016 U.S. Youth Olympic Team includes 62 athletes (42 males, 20 females).
- Team USA will be competing in all 15 disciplines across seven sports.
- A total of 21 states are represented (by hometown) on the U.S. roster; Michigan leads with eight athletes, followed by California and Colorado with six apiece.
- Team USA includes 15 athletes who speak a foreign language, including two who speak German – Alex Hall (freestyle skiing; Park City, Utah) and Ryan Savage (ice hockey; Scottsdale, Arizona) – and one who speak Swedish, Adam Samuelsson (ice hockey; Rye, New York).
- Joseph Goodpaster (figure skating; Hershey, Pennsylvania) is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at the University of South Florida and is the only U.S. athlete who has already graduated high school.
- The youngest and oldest members on the team are figure skating pairs duo, Sarah Rose (4/9/2001; Ellenton, Florida) and Joseph Goodpaster (8/21/1997; Hershey, Pennsylvania).*
- Chloe Kim (snowboarding; La Palma, California) won X Games gold in 2015, topping three-time Olympic medalist Kelly Clark, among others. At age 14, she missed qualification for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games due to age restrictions and will be looking to defend her Aspen X Games title Jan. 28-31.
- Hailey Langland (snowboarding; San Clemente, California) won her first pro event at the 2015 U.S. Grand Prix in Mammoth Mountain, California, finishing ahead of the 2014 Olympic silver medalist. She will make her X Games debut Jan. 28-31 in Aspen, Colorado.
- April Shin (speedskating; Rockville, Maryland) will compete at the ISU World Cup in Dresden, Germany, Feb. 5-7 prior to the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
- Ten members of the U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team have already committed to playing in college: Adam Samuelsson (Rye, New York) and TJ Walsh (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts) – Boston College; Jack DeBoer (Madison, New Jersey), Tyler Weiss (Raleigh, North Carolina) and Jake Wise (North Andover, Massachusetts) – Boston University; Oliver Wahlstrom (Yarmouth, Maine) – Harvard University; Johnathan Gruden (Rochester Hills, Michigan) – Miami University; Mattias Samuelsson (Voorhees, New Jersey) and Jacob Semik (Canton, Michigan) – University of Michigan; and Jacob Pivonka (Woodridge, Illinois) – University of Notre Dame.
- Luger Alanson Owen (Park City, Utah) is the son of Olympian Jon Owen – who competed at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games in luge – and Zianibeth Shattuck-Owen, who was the women’s luge alternate for the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
- Ice hockey forward Ryan Savage (Scottsdale, Arizona) is the son of Brian Savage, who aided Team Canada to the silver medal at the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games.
- Biathlete Vasek Cervenka (Grand Rapids, Minnesota) is the son of Petra Nosková, who represented Czechoslovakia at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in biathlon.
- After being named the first Youth Olympic Games Ambassador for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2012, three-time Olympian Lindsey Vonn (alpine skiing) will reprise her role for 2016.
- U.S. Olympians Hannah Kearney (freestyle skiing), Ross Powers (snowboarding) and Molly Schaus (ice hockey) are among the 15 athletes selected by the International Olympic Committee to serve as Athlete Role Models at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
*All participating athletes must be between the ages of 15-18 as of Dec. 31, 2016.