David Patterson had the experience of a lifetime when he represented Australia at the Winter Youth Olympic games in 2020. This is account.
My once in a lifetime experience at the youth Olympic games has been amazing, from the competitive environment to the opportunities offered outside of competition.
Because of the competitive nature of the youth Olympics, the standard is incredibly high, and because of this, allowed me to meet other athletes competing at the same level from many different countries (such as Romania, USA, France and Great Britain just to name a few).
Outside of the competition we had a small amount of time to socialise and meet people, both our new teammates and other athletes from all over the world.
The accommodation, called the vortex, is a giant spiral. I shared a 'section' with 6 other guys, that was split up into four rooms. We had a communal kitchen and fridge, as well as our own bathroom in each room. In the vortex, there was laundry facilities, a cafe, medical centre, recovery centre and much more. There were also education spaces where we were able to learn about doping in sport.
One facility that was provided to us was the health centre which was an area where you did some preliminary tests and from this you were told your weaknesses and strengths and were given exercises to develop these.
The transport to each sport was different, for example the ice hockey players would catch the metro from next to our accommodation, into town, whereas the Biathlon and alpine athletes had to catch buses out to their venues. For us it was about an hour each way, depending on traffic, but we were able to sleep on the bus, so it went quickly most of the time.
Overall, I am grateful for the experience and loved every second of it. And will take the lessons taught to us by the Australian supervising team in recovery, nutrition, media and much more.
*David Patterson *