Calgary skier Andrew Longino wins gold at Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland
CALGARY -- Calgary's Andrew Longino won Canada's first gold medal at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The 17-year-old scored a 94.00 in the men's freeski halfpipe event Tuesday, beating American Hunter Carey (86.00) and New Zealand's Luca Harrington (80.66).
”I’m really happy to obviously have gold, that's a huge bonus to come out here and get the opportunity to win a medal and represent my country,” said Longino.
“Luca Harrington and Hunter Carey are super strong skiers."
His gold medal moment is also having a big impact on fellow skiers back home.
“Just shows how much hard work pays off,” said 16-year-old freestyle skier Josh Podulsky from Longino’s home halfpipe at Winsport.
“It shows that you can do it, and (it's) something that we all would want to accomplish one day.”
Podulsky was out training with his teammates who aspire to be just like Longino in the future.
Now 14, Liam Duffy says he remembers growing up and experiencing the magic Longino created on the slopes.
“Seeing him skiing around in the park when I was little, I’d watch him racing, see what he was doing and that was cool to see him go up,” said Duffy.
One of Longino’s former coaches was nothing but proud of his former athlete.
“We were together for two years and … where he’s landed, it doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Chip Milner, in charge of freeski competition development park and pipe at Winsport.
Milner first discovered Longino at the age of nine, knowing he could be something special.
“When you see Andrew getting on top of the box like he did, it's basically him working the system and producing,” said Milner.
Steve Kahnert of Vancouver finished eighth in the competition.
The result brings Canada's medal count at the Games to five.
Two ski jumpers from Calgary, Stephane Tremblay and Noah Rolseth, also finished 30th and 36th respectively in the men’s individual ski jumping final.
(With files from the Canadian Press)