A Fairview High School senior representing the USA at the Youth Olympic Games for curling has collected her first win at the event, according to the World Curling Federation.
Kaitlin Murphy, 17, is one of four teenagers on the United States curling team who is participating in the World Youth Olympic Winter Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.
On Saturday during the second day of Youth Olympic Games, the United States took on Latvia. Murphy and her team controlled the game from beginning to end, leading the game 7-0 after six ends, according to the World Curling Federation.
Murphy was excited after the game Saturday.
“It feels awesome! I feel like we played so good. We struggled with communication yesterday but today we were all in high spirits and communicated very well so I think that was a big part of why we won,” Murphy said to the World Curling Federation. ”Keeping my skip Ethan [Hebert] happy is my number one job out here and I love it honestly.”
Jefferey Chen and Katarina Wolfkostin picked up Team USA’s first medal Monday at the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The ice-dancing tandem sat in fifth place before they earned a score of 95. 41 points in the free dance to take home a bronze medal in the ice dance competition to earn a spot on the podium.
Wolfkostin, an Ann Arbor native, and Chen, the younger brother of Olympian figure skater Karen Chen, train in Ann Arbor and have skated together for less than a year and added the bronze medal to a list of accomplishments that include a first-place finish in the 2020 U.S. Ice Dance Junior Final and second place in the 2019 Junior Golden Spin of Zagreb.
They train at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club in Canada, which has produced Olympic champions Hanyu Yuzuru (JPN), Yuna Kim (KOR) and two-time world champion Javier Fernandez (ESP).
Under the guidance of legendary coach and two-time Olympic silver medallist Brian Orser – who led Hanyu, Kim and Fernandez to the top – Nishiyama, 17, and Yoshida, 16, have become hugely popular with figure skating fans.
“It’s special [to train at the same place as Hanyu and Co],” Nishiyama said at the Lausanne Skating Arena on Monday. “I can observe how they practise before competitions, and how they warm up before practice. I learn a lot. It’s good influence and a good environment.”
Nishiyama’s admiration for double Olympic champion Hanyu is telling – one of his earliest Instagram posts is a video of Hanyu’s performance to retain his title at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. On it, Nishiyama vowed to work hard so he can become a great skater too.
Hailing from the same club as storied champions might put pressure on some athletes, but Yoshida said she and Nishiyama take it in their stride. “We don’t feel pressure to measure up to them,” she said. “We do the ice dance, so it’s a different event altogether. “But it’s very inspiring to train with a coach like Brian and at the same club as people like Yuzuru and Javier. It makes you want to work harder.”
Nishiyama followed his figure skating dreams to Canada when he was 14, moving alone to a place where he knew neither the people nor the language.