Figure Skating at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games

Russian Skaters Dominated the Skating Competitions in Lillehammer

A Figure Skaters Competes at the Youth Winter Olympic Games
Figure Skating Competition at the Youth Winter Olympic Games. Photo by Julian Finney / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

The 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games were held from February 12 through February 21, 2016, in Lillehammer, Norway.  Young elite figure skaters and other athletes from all over the world took part, with skaters competing at the same ice arena where the figure skating competition took place at the 1994 Winter Olympics, the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre in Hamar, Norway.    

About the Youth Olympic Games

Just like the Winter Olympic Games, the Youth Olympic Games is held every four years.

There is a summer Youth Olympics and also a winter Youth Olympics.  The format is similar to the traditional Olympic Games: There are Opening Ceremonies and Closing Ceremonies where athletes wear team uniforms and march with their flags, medal ceremonies and an Olympic Village, where athletes live.   

There's even a mascot for the Youth Olympic Games. In 2016, it was a lynx named Sjogg, designed by a 19-year-old girl named Line Ansethmoen, from Lillehammer.

History of the Youth Olympic Games

The goal of the Youth Olympic Games is to bring together the world's best young athletes and to teach and educate those who take part about Olympic values. Competitors must be between the ages of 15 and 18 years old.   

The first Summer Youth Olympic Games took place in February of 2008 in Singapore. Four years later in 2012, the first Winter Youth Olympic Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria.

New Events at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games

As with the traditional Olympics, the Youth Olympics regularly add new competitive events.

For the 2016 Winter games, six new events were added: Biathlon, bobsled, cross-country slopestyle skiing, freestyle skiing, snowboard cross and two combined events: the mixed Nording team event and the mixed team ski-snowboard cross. 

Winners of Ice Skating Competitions

The figure skaters who competed at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games were selected by their nations' skating federations.

As always, ice skating competitions were among the most popular and most-watched events of the 2016 games. Russia dominated this portion of the games. 

Both the ladies' and men's figure skating competition had 16 skaters each.There were ten pair teams and 12 ice dance teams competing.  

The nations that qualified to send figure skaters to the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games earned spots based on the placement of their skaters at the 2015 Junior World Figure Skating Championships.  

In the figure skating categories, Sota Yamamoto of Japan won the men's gold, while Polina Tsurskaya of Russia took home the women's gold medal. Deniss Vasiljevs of Latvia won the men's silver and Dmitri Aliev of Russia won men's bronze. Rounding out the women's medals in figure skating were Maria Sotskova of Russia with silver and Elizabet Tursynbayeva with bronze.

The pairs medal winners were Ekaterina Borisova and Dmitry Sopot of Russia with the gold, Anna Duskova and Martin Bidar of the Czech Republic with silver and Alina Ustimkina and Nikita Volodin of Russia with the bronze. 

The only Americans to medal in the top ice skating competitions at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games were Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye, who took the silver in ice dancing.