Qualification for Youth Olympic Games underway

Qualification Timeline YOG Gangwon 2024

Salzburg (FIL/7 June 2023) The 2022/23 season was a premiere season for luge youth. For the first time, there were the Continental Cups – a separate series on each of three continents for the youth class, and world cups and world championships for the juniors.

“Previously, the starting fields were incredibly large, and that was one reason for creating the independent Continental Cup series for Youth A, emphasized Hans-Jürgen Köhne, chairman of the FIL Youth Commission. Another reason for creating an independent platform is that it provides a framework for qualifying for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in the South Korean province of Gangwon. The vast majority of the competitions, from January 19 to February 1, 2024, will be held in sport venues built for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The luge, bobsled and skeleton competitions will take place at the Olympic Sliding Center of PyeongChang.

In the 2022/2023 winter, seven Continental Cups were held in six countries and on three continents. Qualification is now underway for the 2024 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon.

Korean luge youth

In Europe the series began in Latvia

The first Continental Cup was held on December 2-3, 2022, in Sigulda. Local conditions were not easy for the young girls and boys with temperatures below freezing and very fast, hard ice. A large starting field from twelve nations traveled to the premiere event. In women’s singles, Alexandra Oberstolz of Italy was victorious, and in men’s singles Carlos Stang of Germany won in the world's first Continental Cup. Unbeatable in men’s doubles was the team of Grünbeck/Kührt, and in women's doubles Pflaume/Peterseim (both of Germany).

Second event in Bludenz, Austria

ICC Team Italy

In the European series of the Continental Cup, the second event took place on December 16-17, 2022 in Bludenz, Austria. Presumably, this new short track should have been easy to sled due to its length. But the course in Vorarlberg proved to have some pitfalls. Many of the young athletes had problems and had to first work out their approach to the new track in detail. In men’s singles, Niklas Zehner finished best in a field of 35 participants. In women’s singles, Melina Hänsch was victorious with the two best run times in a field of 27 starters. In boys’ doubles, Grünbeck/Kührt won the competition, and in girls’ doubles Bierast/Claus was the winning team. All of the male and female winners came from Germany.

Asia and North America follow in the Continental Cup


At the same time as the second Continental Cup event in Europe, a Continental Cup event took place in Asia on December 17, 2022, on the ice track that will be used for the 2024 Youth Olympic Games in Gangwon. This was a Continental Cup in which the starting athletes were from Korea, China, and Thailand.

The qualification phase for the 2024 YOG also began in 2023. On January 13-14, 2023, the first Continental Cup was held in North America. The setting for the competition was the track used for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler (Canada).

The two young Canadians Embyr-Lee Susko in women’s singles and Theo Downey in men's singles won – each of them with the best times in both runs. In women's doubles, Goldie Miller and Haidyn Bunker from the USA were the fastest.

Oberstolz / Kofler

Then, just one week later, on January 20-21, the second North American Continental Cup took place at Park City, USA. The victors of the previous week at Whistler impressed again at the Olympic Park in Utah with gold medals. Both Embyr-Lee Susko and Theo Downey (both of Canada) were fastest in singles and Miller/Bunker in women's doubles. No men’s doubles teams started.

Nearly simultaneously in Europe

Two days after the Continental Cup in the USA, the third event of the European series took place in Winterberg, Germany. It was the first and the only Continental Cup in Germany. At the VELTINS ice arena, there were 22 sleds at the start in male youth singles, and in the female youth singles there were 19. Six sleds from each singles group were registered for both doubles competitions. Germany had the most athletes with 22, followed by Austria with 14. Other nations represented were Italy, Romania, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, France, and Puerto Rico.

Big finals in Korea with YOG dress rehearsal

Continental Cup Youth A Luge 2022/23

On February 11-12, 2023, the track of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, was the venue for the big Continental Cup finale for Youth A. The hosts and event organizers utilize the competitions with female and male athletes from 18 nations as a pre-event for the 2024 YOG in Gangwon. In women’s singles, 32 young luge athletes from 13 nations started, and in men's singles there were 31 sleds from 15 nations. Teams from Italy, Latvia, Austria, Poland, Korea, USA, and the Ukraine participated in the Team Relay Cup at the finals in South Korea.

The female and male athletes from Italy won in all classes. Alexandra Oberstolz and Philipp Brunner won with the best times in singles. The two talented youth then also won in doubles and in team competition. Alexandra Oberstolz was at the doubles start with Katharina Kofler and Philipp Brunner with Manuel Weissensteiner.

Gangwon 2024 Youth Olympics mascot Moongcho

Schedule Youth Olympics Gangwon 2024

15 January 2024: Systematic Training

16 – 19 January 2024: Official Training

Day 1 (20 January 2024) W Singles and M Doubles

Day 2 (21 January 2024) M Singles and W Doubles

Day 3 (22 January 2024) Official Training

Day 4 (23 January 2024) Team Relay