US freestyle skier Aaron Blunck – who won halfpipe bronze at the Winter YOG Innsbruck 2012 before going on to compete at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 – was glad to be back riding the pipe this month, after the Mt Hood ski resort in Oregon (USA) was able to reopen after closing earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Never thought skiing would feel so good,” posted the 2019 world halfpipe champion alongside a video of one of his runs. “Beyond blessed to be out here.”
Austrian luger Madeleine Egle – a bronze medallist at both the Winter YOG Lillehammer 2016 and the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 – has certainly been keeping active during her offseason. The 21-year-old has been water skiing, rock climbing and even bungee jumping in recent weeks, sharing her exploits with her followers on Instagram alongside some motivational words. “The biggest wall you've got to climb is the one you build in your mind,” she posted.
Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz – who also won a silver medal at the YOG Singapore 2010 – paid tribute to his coach, Vitaly Petrov, on social media recently, posting: “If you have good people at your side, do not let them down! Thanks coach, you are the guy. Let's jump!”
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen
YOG silver medallist Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen proved she is a woman of many talents recently as she shared a craft project with her followers on Instagram. The 25-year-old freestyle skier, who is currently expecting her first child with husband Stian, posted a photo of her decorating a plant pot with shells while taking a break from home renovations. “First DIY project in new house,” she added. “Important to have a little relaxation between all the demolition and shovelling!”
If Hugo Calderano ever decides to give up table tennis, he might be able to compete in gymnastics or basketball instead. The YOG bronze medallist recently demonstrated his skills in both sports in a unique workout that he shared on Instagram, performing a succession of backflips and slam dunks.
Swedish handball star Hanna Blomstrand – a bronze medallist at the YOG Nanjing 2014 – may play an indoor sport, but she proved she’s a lover of the great outdoors with a recent Instagram post that showed her picking wild mushrooms. “Pick mushrooms, eat blueberries, drink coffee, bathe in the sea. On repeat,” she captioned the post.
Turkish gymnast Ferhat Arıcan recently used his platform as an Olympian to highlight the key role that sport can play in fostering gender equality. “The role of sport in raising self-confident and productive girls who can stand on their own feet cannot be ignored,” he posted, alongside an image of him talking to a young female athlete. “For this very reason, we should encourage girls to do sports and make sport a part of their lives as much as we can. We should not forget that the development of a society is possible only if women and men contribute equally to that society.”