you young knows what it’s like to win Youth Olympic Games (JOG).
The Korean figure skater was the Olympic gold medalist Lausanne 2020 Winter YOG during a season that propelled the 18-year-old into the spotlight.
There is only one year left before the next Winter JOG will take place in her home country, at Gangwon 2024You say this event will always be special to her.
Speaking to Olympics.com, You is emphatic, describing her victory in the Olympic capital of Lausanne three years ago with one word: “honour”.
“It was the first season I tried a triple Axel,” she recalls. “But I successfully landed a triple Axel in the free skate at the Youth Olympics and also managed to land other jumps easily, so I was very happy.
“It’s great that I was able to win a gold medal in an event that had the atmosphere of the Olympic Games.”
The excitement of Gangwon 2024
Gangwon will host the next Winter JOG, using many of the same venues that hosted events during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
While Ty was too young to compete in 2018 as a 13-year-old, she took part in the Olympic torch relay, serving as the first torchbearer after the arrival of the Olympic torch in the Republic of Korea. She also helped carry the Olympic flag into the stadium during the opening ceremony.
“I remember being the first torchbearer in the relay, but I was very nervous at the time. I was also carrying the Olympic flag shivering because it was cold. And I think it was such a meaningful and special memory that “I will never forget it.”
Now that another major winter multi-sport event is back in the country, You hopes that the next generation will be able to discover Korean culture first-hand given its widespread popularity around the world.
“K-pop is very famous now, so I think when the athletes come, they will have the opportunity to listen to the music of famous K-pop groups, such as BTS and BLACK PINKYou are delighted. “It would be nice to learn more about Korean culture and (our) food is also really delicious. It would be great if athletes also enjoyed good food.”
You Young’s New Beginning After Beijing 2022
You finally made your Olympic debut last year as a 17-year-old at the Winter Olympics Beijing 2022.
There she placed sixth and then fifth at the world championships. But the skating legend admits she’s not entirely sure she’ll continue.
Earlier this season, she told Olympics.com about her loss of motivation. Now she explains: “I was mentally exhausted, so I wanted to focus more on something else. I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I want to get back into figure skating seriously.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can keep up with the next Olympics. So I had quite a difficult time, but I worked hard on other hobbies to find motivation and I think I was able to start again thanks to talking a lot with people around me.”
One of those other hobbies, she revealed last year, was cycling to and from training in Colorado.
“I remembered riding my bike alone for up to three hours,” says You.
You Young: Now a role model
One of the side-effects, if you can call it that, of her performances in Beijing was an increase in social media attention. If only it were possible for a figure skater competing in one of the most popular winter sports.
“Followers have grown significantly since the Winter Olympics and a lot of people recognize me,” says You. “It still hasn’t hit me yet. It made me think ‘yes, I competed in the Olympics’ and I feel more responsible.
“Other young athletes are watching me and getting involved in figure skating following in my footsteps.”
This means serving as a role model for younger athletes, possibly including those who will compete at Gangwon 2024.
“I just want to do better in the future. Not only a good skater, but I want to be remembered as a skater who puts in the effort and gives it her all.
“I want to be not just a good athlete, but one who has a history, like getting injured for various reasons, but achieving success after hard work. I believe it will encourage other athletes more, so I want to become that athlete.”