Volunteers hand out curling and ice hockey medals after busy weeks on the rinks at the Winter EYOF
Two of the 1200 dedicated volunteers at the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2023 were given the chance to hand out medals on the penultimate day of action in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Switzerland’s mixed curling team went unbeaten in the group stages and cruised past Sweden in the semi-final before seeing off Germany in the gold medal game after a packed week of action at the Claut Ice Skating Stadium.
They were awarded their medals by Fausto Pedergnana, president of the local ASD Curling Club Claut, who has been in charge there for 19 years and has been instrumental in helping disabled people get into the sport.
After Czechia beat Slovakia 4-1 in the girls’ ice hockey final in Spittal, volunteer Birgit Hering was given the opportunity to present the medals to the side. In the boys’ final in Udine, Jamiro Reber netted a brace as Switzerland beat Latvia 5-0 thanks to three goals in the third and final period.
There was joy for Finland’s Lida Karhunen in the figure skating as she won the girls’ single section with a combined score of 171.79, just four points ahead of Italian Anna Pezzetta and Noelle Streuli from Poland in third.
In the girls’ individual ski mountaineering, Spain’s Laia Selles Sanchez completed a stunning week as she won her third gold medal of the EYOF ahead of Norway’s Malin Indergaard and Melissa Berolina from Italy. In the boys’ race it was a one-two finish for the hosts as Erik Canovi won his second individual gold and Marcello Scarinzi came second.
There were second golds for Finland’s Lina Haggstom and Switzerland’s Fadri Rhyner in the freestyle skiing slopestyle finals. Fellow Finn Liina Kuivalaenen and Italian Carolina Vitale Cesa finished on the podium in the girls’ event, while Stefan Sorokon from Estonia and Czechia’s Petr Muller won the silver and bronze in the boys’.
The snowboard slopestyle saw a first gold of the games for Great Britain through Charlie Lane, who won big air silver earlier in the week, while Czechia’s Vannesa Volopichova won the girls’ event ahead of Swiss duo Yuna Scheidegger and Soha Janett.
There were two golds on day six for Slovenia as Miha Oserban won the the alpine skiing boys’ giant slalom final and the team of Luka Filip, Nik Heberle, Tinkara Komar and Nika Prevc won the mixed team ski jumping. It was Prevc’s third gold of the week to go alongside her girls’ team and girls normal hill individual successes.
In the cross-country skiing mixed final, Sweden’s quartet came just 3.5 seconds ahead of Finland to win gold, while French teams took home gold and silver in the mixed snowboard cross big final.