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Three Central Otago freeskiers are set to compete against the world’s best young athletes.
Luca Harrington, of Wanaka, Max McDonald, of Arrowtown, and Ruby Andrews, of Queenstown, join Aucklander Ben Barclay in the team for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, in January.
Andrews (14) already has a junior world championship freeski halfpipe medal. She also claimed three second-place finishes at the Australia New Zealand Cup and won the FIS New Zealand Showdown Slopestyle.
"It’ll be awesome to be in a team environment at the Winter Youth Olympic Games with all the other New Zealand athletes," she said.
"I’m really looking forward to it and can’t wait to get there."
Harrington (15) said the Games would be a great training ground to attempt to make it to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
He had been skiing almost as long as he has been walking.
"I’ve always had skiing in my blood because my dad was a pro mogul skier," he explained.
"I grew up skiing and then got massively into freestyle skiing when I got a bit older."
McDonald has also been skiing since he could walk.
He began as a ski racer, but found he "loved jumping off things too so freestyle skiing is the perfect sport for me".
A career highlight so far has been winning the alpine youth nationals and freeski junior nationals in the same year.
He is now looking forward to pushing himself against a strong international field.
"It’ll be great as well to meet a bunch of athletes from around the world and hear about their sports and how they train."