The Winter Youth Olympics Games have joined together athletes from different countries of the world around the Olympic ideology. During 10 days in Lillehammer athletes of different nationalities warmly greeted each other every day, competing in the morning, sharing their impressions in the afternoon and then meeting in a canteen in the evening. One of the two representatives of Armenia, skier Mikael Mikaelyan, came out in ski cross and cross-country skiing. In a conversation with an ANOC reporter, the Armenian skier spoke about Norwegian organization, his results, new friends and impressions.
-Mikael, what impressions have you got of the Youth Olympic Games?
-The Youth Olympic Games were perfectly organized. The Norwegians have a huge experience in organization of such tournaments. I’m not surprised that these games were so ideally organized. I had been preparing for these Olympics for more than a year.
-The Youth Olympics draw to a close, have you managed to acquire new friends?
-Of course, I have found friends of various nationalities and sports. Besides the friendly relations, we managed to exchange experiences. Before the competitions I had got acquainted with the future winners without knowing that they would become Olympic champions. I have also established friendly relations with Sweden women’s team which was the best in the race.
-Mikael, speaking about your first performance, could you do more?
-Speaking about my first performance, I can say that everything was wonderful. I am pleased with my work and results.
-What would you say about the cross-country skiing event?
-Skiers should have strong back and shoulder muscles for cross-country skiing. Unfortunately, my age doesn’t allow having more developed back and shoulder muscles. This is the main reason of my bad results in cross-country skiing.
-And what about placing 26th in the 10km free ski cross event?
-Undoubtedly, it was a great achievement but I think it could be better. Athletes who have outgrown their age have more chances to win and here there are many athletes who are 15 years old and 2 meters tall and look much older than they are. It is an advantage for athletes under 18 but then they disappear from sport. After my performances I feel more confident.
-How are you going to look back on the Youth Olympic Games?
-I am sure that in future I will have many occasions to remember the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games. I think I will always keep in touch with the friends I found here and the positive and precious moments that I felt will live inside me for a long time. The most important for me is that the atmosphere in Lillehammer is not competitive, even on the eve of the Olympic closure. I have also got acquainted with Olympic Games twice champion, biathlete Tora Berger whom I consider ugly enough (laughs).
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