Canadian curler Nathan Young of Torbay, N.L., won a gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in a way he had never dreamt up. Young, the skip of the Canadian mixed curling team, and his Hungarian teammate Laura Nagy won gold in the mixed doubles competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“Amazing. I am still in the moment right now. I haven’t had time to kind of think about what just happened. There aren’t many words. It’s already such an amazing experience to be here and represent Canada and have my family here. This is just a big bonus to walk away with this,” Young said.
Nagy and Young defeated France/Russia’s Chana Beitone/Nikolai Lysakov 9-5 in the gold-medal game at the Palladium de Champéry on Wednesday. The Hungarian/Canadian duo launched itself into a 7-0 lead after three ends by taking three in the first and deuces in the second and third of the eight-end game. Beitone/Lysakov strung together five points in the fourth through six ends, but Nagy/Young responded with singles in the final two ends to pick up the victory.
“What we’ve been doing all week is taking it one shot at a time, being patient, finding ways to get rocks in good places and recognizing when it’s not going well and trying to bail and limit their points,” Young said of the team’s success on the ice. “I think we did that. We were up seven, that’s a good comfortable lead but as you can see it doesn’t take much in mixed doubles for them to come back and they made some great shots in the second half to put pressure on us.”
The result caps off a six-game win-streak for the duo that started in the Round of 48 and they battled until becoming the top team in the single-elimination tournament. Nagy/Young defeated curlers from nations such as Japan, France, Great Britain, Czech Republic, China, Turkey, Sweden and Denmark and more than doubled their opponents in scoring with 49 points for and 21 points against.
The duo’s chemistry was noticeable right away in the Round of 48 with an 11-5 victory against Sweden/Denmark’s Lisa Norrlander and Killian Thune and continued improving with more experience on the ice. The pair hit its pinnacle with the pair of games leading up to the gold-medal game with back-to-back wins against eventual bronze-medal winners Mina Kobayashi/Leo Tuaz of Japan and France with an 8-1 win in the Round of 6 game and 6-2 victory in the semifinal (Japan/France moved into the semifinal despite the Round of 6 loss due to its Draw Shot Challenge distance).
The mixed doubles tournament matched curlers with a teammate from other competing nations and placed them into a 48-team tournament bracket. Canada’s other competitors included Lauren Rajala and Bine Sever of Slovakia who lost their opening game 10-9 to eventual silver-medallists Beitone/Lysakov. Canada’s Jaedon Neuert and Kaitlin Murphy of the United States won their first game against Hannah Farries (Great Britain)/Kadir Polat (Turkey) 8-4, followed by an 8-6 loss to Liza Gregori (Slovenia)/Maximilian Winz (Switzerland). Canada’s Emily Deschenes and Oriol Gasto Jimenez battled back from an eight-point deficit against Leticia Cid (Brazil)/Hunter Walker (New Zealand) for a 10-9 win in their first game and lost the second game in an 8-2 loss to Maelle Vergnaud (France)/Grunde Buraas (Norway).
The mixed doubles tournament marks the end of the curling program at the Youth Olympic Games. The Canadian mixed team had a 5-0 round-robin record during the mixed competition and were edged 5-4 in the quarter-finals against Japan, which would go on to win silver in the mixed event.