Kalnų Ereliai veteran and member of the Lithuanian National Ski Team Laura Pamerneckytė of Vilnius is in Austria this week for the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games. The 16-year-old is one of just six athletes on the Lithuanian team (two alpine skiers, two cross-country skiers, and two biathletes). In Innsbruck, she will compete in the Slalom and Giant Slalom competitions. On the eve of her first race, she took a few minutes to catch up with kalnuereliai.com and provide some insight into her experiences at the YOG for our English-speaking fans.
Kalnų Ereliai: What does the experience of participating in YOG mean to you?
Laura Pamerneckytė: It means a lot to me, because I was sent here to represent my country. I think all the Lithuanians here are nice and friendly, so other athletes have a good opinion about us. It just feels so great to be a part of YOG.
KE: What is your first impression of the race hill, and what is your plan for the GS/SL races?
LP: The hill is really good. Hopefully the snow and weather will be fine too. My plan is simply to finish. I’ll try as hard as I can, but there are a lot of strong girls I just can’t compete with. The most important thing is to participate not to win.
KE: What has been the best part of YOG so far?
LP: The best part was opening ceremony! It was a bright and colorful show. It was really interesting despite how cold it was outside. Also in YOG, I have met some really interesting people and made many new friends.
KE: And lastly, what is Yogger? We’ve been hearing a lot about it.
LP: Hmm … Yogger is like a flash drive but with some special functions. Whatever activities you participate in—drumming, listening to a lesson about how to prepare for competition, or how to be a chef—you collect points. When you have enough points you can get prizes like sunglasses or a water-bottle. Rokas [Zaveckas] and I both already got [a water-bottle], and we need only one or two more points to get awesome headphones!
Aciu Laura! Sounds like you’re having a great time. Good luck to you, Rokas, and the rest of the Lithuanian team!