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Mongolia sends 15 skiers to Lausanne for 2020 YOG training

24 Jan 2018
Lausanne, Switzerland, January 24, 2018: Fifteen skiers aged from 12 to 15 left Mongolia for two weeks of training on the slopes of the Vallee de Joux – a competition venue for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne. They will do the same in 2019 in the hope of being picked for the eight-strong Mongolian cross country skiing team for the Winter YOG in 2020.

This project was the brainchild of Pascal Gertsch, a General Practitioner who is passionate about cross country skiing and Mongolia. Pascal dreamt of organising training camps in Europe – in Sweden, he initially thought. The staging of the next Winter YOG opened the way to come to Switzerland, to the Vallée de Joux, to prepare a team with a view to competing at the YOG.

“It was important for the young Mongolians to be able to see in advance how we train here and race against other athletes to be ready for 2020,” he explained. Besides the purely sporting side, the aim of this first trip is also to meet young locals their own age on the slopes by taking part in sports, drawing or English lessons. 

Hosted at the Sports Centre, alongside Gertsch, who travelled with them, and joined by Nassa and Christelle, their Mongolian interpreters, they are learning about the region by eating with local families or in restaurants in the area and by forging special relations with their sponsors, who provided them with brand new cross country skiing equipment.

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