The Winter Youth Olympic Games (JOG) proved to be a very successful breeding ground for champions Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Several gold medal winners in China, including Sick Eileen Gu, Chloe Kim, Kagiyama Yuma, and Birka Ruudstarted their Olympic journey in YOG.
In fact, out of the 341 YOG alumni who participated in China, 53 won medals (24 gold, 10 silver and 19 bronze).
before Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympicswe take a closer look at the biggest stars in the history of YOG who won Olympic gold in Beijing.
Memories of Lausanne 2020 | 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games
Chloe Kim – USA, snowboard
Chloe Kim became the first American competitor to win gold in Winter YOG snowboarding, winning halfpipe and slopestyle titles at Lillehammer 2016.
In fact, the flag bearer of the opening ceremony also scored the highest score in snowboarding in the history of the Youth Olympics at the time.
Two years later, the 17-year-old Californian had a great 2018, culminating in a gold in the halfpipe in her debut at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
In doing so, she became the youngest woman to complete two 1080-degree turns in a row at the Games and the youngest woman ever to win gold in the halfpipe.
Kim, now a global superstar, used that momentum to win the 2019 and 2021 world halfpipe titles, but she was far from breaking records.
Despite competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics out of shape due to injury, she rose to the occasion and became the first female snowboarder to win two gold medals in the event.
Chloe Kim: Beijing 2022 Medal Moments
Chora Eileen Gu – People’s Republic of China, freestyle skiing
Sick Eileen Gu was probably an artist of distinction Lausanne 2020 JOGwinning gold medals in big air and halfpipe and silver in slopestyle.
The California-born athlete then moved on to seniors with a flourish, winning two gold medals at the 2021 Winter X Games before becoming World Halfpipe and Slopestyle Champion at Aspen 2021.
These successes put a lot of pressure on her to go to the 2022 Beijing Olympics home games.
Showing a maturity well beyond her 18 years, she took a step forward and won gold medals in big air and halfpipe, as well as silver in slopestyle – exactly the same results she achieved in Lausanne 2020.
Moments | Beijing 2022 – Gold Medal – Freestyle Skiing – Gu A. – Podium
Petra Vlhova – Slovakia, alpine skiing
The Slovak sensation of alpine skiing Petr Vlhova burst onto the world stage with an impressive slalom victory Innsbruck Winter JOG 2012.
Later she thought, “It was a job that gave me a lot of experience. When I won gold in slalom, that’s when it all started.”
Two years later, at the age of 18, she made her Olympic debut in Sochi 2014, finishing 24th in giant slalom and 19th in slalom.
However, she continued to work on her craft and showed significant improvement at PyeongChang 2018, where she skied in all six events and placed fifth in the combined.
Over the next four years, she developed an intense rivalry at the top of the sport with Mikaela Shiffrin of the US, culminating in Vlovha becoming the 2019 Giant Slalom World Champion and 2021 Crystal Globe overall winner.
At Beijing 2022, Vlhova became the first Slovak to win Olympic gold in alpine skiing by winning the slalom. She was ranked 8th after the first round, but then had the fastest run in the second leg and won gold by 0.08 seconds ahead of reigning world champion Katharina Liensberger.
SCROLL: Petra Vlhova wins Innsbruck Slalom Gold 2012 YOG
Birk Ruud – Norway, freestyle skiing
Birka Ruud is one of the biggest names in freestyle skiing and has made a big breakthrough in Lillehammer 2016 JOG.
Competing on his own snow, the Norwegian won a spectacular slopestyle gold.
Over the next two Olympic cycles, the Baerum-born athlete won four Big Air medals (including two gold) at the Winter X Games, and in 2019 he won silver in slopestyle at the world championships.
But the best was yet to come, and Ruud was about to write history.
In Beijing in 2022, the 21-year-old won the first ever Olympic gold medal in the Big Air Olympic with a total score of 187.75. In his winning run, the classic shredder performed a double 1440 mute while holding the Norwegian flag for a near-perfect score.
Kagiyama Yuma – Japan, figure skating
Kagiyama Yuma received the honor of being the ensign of Japan on Lausanne 2020 JOG The opening ceremony, before delivering gold in the men’s singles and silver in the NOC mixed team event.
In the same year, the son of a two-time Olympian, Kagiyama Masakazu, secured his first podium finish in the ISU Senior Championships, finishing third in the prestigious Four Continents Championships.
The Yokohama athlete has been called up to the Japan national team for the 2021 World Cup alongside the two-time Olympic champion Hanyu Yuzuru and current world champion (YOG alumni mates) Uno Shomawhere he won the silver medal and became the youngest Worlds medalist since Hanyu won the bronze medal at the World Championships 2012 World Cup.
In Beijing in 2022, the 18-year-old Kagiyama won silver in men’s singles and produced a stunning free skate that helped Japan to the podium in the team event.
Like father, like son: Yuma Kagiyama dreams big
Hwang Daeheon – Republic of Korea, short track speed skating
Hwang Daeheon came to Norway on Lillehammer Winter JOG 2016 as a bullseye for gold.
But the Korean shocked the all-star team, including Hungary’s Shaoang Liu, by winning the men’s 1000m title.
Just nine months later, Hwang became a star on the world circuit by setting a 1,000m world record time of 1 minute 20.875 seconds in the ISU World Cup quarter-final repechage in Salt Lake City, USA.
Skating on home ice at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Hwang won silver in the men’s 500m sprint but managed to win the 500m world title in 2018 and 2019.
At Beijing 2022, he finally secured the only title he lacked in his closet – Olympic gold – by winning the men’s 1,500m. A very successful Olympics in China also earned him a silver in the 5,000 m relay and an Olympic record in the men’s 1,000 m.
Men’s 500m Final and Women’s 3000m Relay Final – Short Track Speed ??Skating | Beijing 2022 replays
Other notable mentions
Another notable YOG star who blossomed at Beijing 2022 is the German bobsleder Laura Noltewho won monobob gold at Lillehammer 2016 JOG and gold in a two-man sleigh in China.
Meanwhile, her compatriot Victoria Charleswho won gold in the mixed team in cross-country skiing and biathlon at the Innsbruck 2012 JOG, was part of the winning women’s cross-country team sprint at Beijing 2022.
Another cross-country skier in Sweden Jonna Sundling took second place in the girls sprint at ul Innsbruck 2012 JOGbefore winning the Olympic gold medal in the women’s individual sprint in Beijing.
Lillehammer 2016 JOG bronze medalist in short track speed skating Shaoang Liu became a household name in Hungary when he won Olympic gold as a member of the national men’s 500 m relay team at PyeongChang 2018 before sealing the men’s 500 m sprint individual title at Beijing 2022.
Finally, Italian mixed doubles curling is the reigning Olympic champions Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner both competed at the Winter Youth Olympics, with Mosaner winning silver in the mixed team event at Innsbruck 2012.