Nydegger stays humble after earning acclaim for skeleton triumph

Germany’s Lukas David Nydegger reigned supreme from start to finish to win the men’s skeleton gold medal on Monday, concluding two days of thrilling action in the sport at the St. Moritz Olympia Bob Run.

Picture by OIS / IOC

Nydegger powered himself to a first-place finish and top spot on the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games podium in a combined time of two minutes, 17 seconds over two runs, having led by more than a second after the first run.

Latvia’s Elvis Veinbergs (2:18.42) took silver and Livio Summermatter (SUI) crossed the finish line in 2:19.53 to get bronze.

“This is way better than winning any other race,” Nydegger said after hitting a top speed of 137.7km per hour on his way to victory. “It is hard to describe.”

Moments after Nydegger had secured himself a gold medal, some athletes started to bow to him out of respect for his fine performance. It made the 17-year-old feel “not right”.

Lausanne 2020 VEINBERGS Elvis
Picture by OIS/IOC

“That means I am a little higher than them and that is definitely not so,” he said. “We are all athletes. There is no need to bow down.”

Summermatter was also delighted to have clinched a medal, with his impressive display giving local fans reason to cheer.

Lausanne 2020 SUMMERMATTER Livio
Picture by OIS/IOC

“I am really happy to have won bronze,” he said after having been given a banner by an eight-year-old fan. “It is the greatest feeling to compete in Switzerland for Switzerland. I would like to thank everyone for their support.”

The Germans had shown their ability in skeleton on Sunday, when Josefa Schellmoser took silver and Sissi Schroedl bronze in the women’s event.

They were beaten to first place by Russia’s Anastasiia Tsyganova, despite the gold medallist having been left unimpressed with her own display.

“I still do not feel like I won,” Tsyganova said after the race. “I’m not very satisfied with the runs so that is why I am not very happy.”