Team Canada Names 54 Athletes to Compete at Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games

TORONTO — On Monday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) announced the team of 54 athletes that will represent Canada at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, from February 12 to 21. Benjamin Churchill will lead Team Canada into the Opening Ceremony as the flagbearer.

The 17-year-old Calgary native is one of Canada’s most promising biathletes. He won the men’s 15km individual event and led Team Alberta to silver in the men’s 3 x 7.5km relay at the 2015 Canada Games in Prince George, B.C. Competing since 2010, Churchill has won six career medals at the Canadian Championships.

The Olympic city of Lillehammer will host 1100 of the world’s best young winter athletes from 71 nations. These promising athletes aged 15 to 18 will compete in 70 medal events using some of the venues from the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. Two daily update shows and the event of the day will be streamed on

In addition to competition, the athletes will take part in a wide range of cultural and educational activities to help them develop the skills needed to be successful in their careers as adults. The team will be led by Chef de Mission Isabelle Charest, a three-time Olympian and Olympic medallist in short track speed skating. Charest made her Olympic debut at Lillehammer 1994 where she won silver in the 3000m relay. Fellow Olympian, Eric Mitchell, a ski jumper who competed at Vancouver 2010, joins the team as their Young Ambassador.

The full athlete contingent which will represent Canada at the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games includes:

First Name Last Name Gender Sport Hometown
Justin Alkier Male Alpine Skiing Toronto, ON
Ryan Moffat Male Alpine Skiing Kelowna, BC
Ali Nullmeyer Female Alpine Skiing Toronto, ON
Amelia Smart Female Alpine Skiing Invermere, BC
Tekarra Banser Female Biathlon Kelowna, BC
Benjamin Churchill Male Biathlon Calgary, AB
Gillian Gowling Female Biathlon Calgary, AB
Leo Grandbois Male Biathlon Lennoxville, QC
Katherine Hogan Female Bobsleigh Calgary, AB
Martha Niziolek Female Bobsleigh Kingston, ON
Parker Reid Male Bobsleigh West Vancouver, BC
Taylor Rooke Female Bobsleigh Calgary, AB
Levi Nadlersmith Male Cross-Country Skiing Boissevain, MB
Annika Richardson Female Cross-Country Skiing Vancouver, BC
Karlee Burgess Female Curling Brooksfield, NS
Mary Fay Female Curling Chester, NS
Sterling Middleton Male Curling Fort St. John, BC
Tyler Tardi Male Curling Surrey, BC
Justine Brasseur Female Figure Skating LaSalle, QC
Zachary Lagha Male Figure Skating Saint-Hubert, QC
Marjorie Lajoie Female Figure Skating Longueuil, QC
Mathieu Ostiguy Male Figure Skating Granby, QC
Roman Sadovsky Male Figure Skating Toronto, ON
Zoe Chore Female Freestyle Skiing Kimberley, BC
Reece Howden Male Freestyle Skiing Chilliwack, BC
Evan Marineau Male Freestyle Skiing Calgary, BC
Mackenzie Wilson Female Freestyle Skiing Whistler, BC
Luka Burzan Male Ice Hockey Surrey, BC
Dennis Busby Male Ice Hockey Shanty Bay, ON
Declan Chisholm Male Ice Hockey Bowmanville, ON
Aidan Dudas Male Ice Hockey Parry Sound, ON
Carson Focht Male Ice Hockey Regina, SK
Gabriel Fortier Male Ice Hockey Lachine, QC
Alexis Gravel Male Ice Hockey Mississauga, ON
Benoît-Olivier Groulx Male Ice Hockey Gatineau, QC
Anderson MacDonald Male Ice Hockey Quispamsis, NB
Jared McIsaac Male Ice Hockey Truro, NS
Allan McShane Male Ice Hockey Collingwood, ON
Ryan Merkley Male Ice Hockey Mississauga, ON
Tristen Nielsen Male Ice Hockey Fort St. John, BC
Connor Roberts Male Ice Hockey Owen Sound, ON
Olivier Rodrigue Male Ice Hockey Canton Tremblay, QC
Ty Smith Male Ice Hockey Lloydminster, AB
Jett Woo Male Ice Hockey Winnipeg, MB
Brooke Apshkrum Female Luge Calgary, AB
Matthew Riddle Male Luge Vancouver, BC
Adam Shippit Male Luge Pemberton, BC
Reid Watts Male Luge Whistler, BC
Zachary Lipinski Male Skeleton Leduc, AB
Laura Vargas Female Skeleton Calgary, AB
Evan Bichon Male Snowboard Prince George, BC
Kira Lengkeek Female Snowboard Airdrie, AB
Baily McDonald Female Snowboard Barrie, ON
Audrey Shieh Female Snowboard Collingwood, ON


“It is such an honour to be Team Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Lillehammer was the setting of the beginning of my Olympic journey, and the 1994 Games shaped the rest of my life. I know the Youth Olympic Games can do the same for the young athletes who will take part. It will be a major milestone in their careers and I’m thrilled to be a part of it and use my experience to help them reach their potential. I’m thrilled to work with the ones who will inspire future generations of athletes.”

Isabelle Charest, Lillehammer 2016 Chef de Mission, Three-Time Olympian, Three-Time Olympic Medallist, Short Track Speed Skating


“The Youth Olympic Games is a great event because it will help participants grow into not only great athletes but also well-rounded young adults. It has a strong educational component delivered through workshops and cultural exchanges. These teenagers will develop skills and knowledge that will help them become champions on and off the field of play, in their future careers and throughout their lives. They will have the opportunity to learn these vital skills from sport legends, empowering them to be true leaders in their communities when they return home to Canada. I wish I’d had the opportunity to compete, learn and share in an event like this, I know it would have helped to prepare me for the big Olympic stage at Vancouver 2010.”

Eric Mitchell, Lillehammer 2016 Young Ambassador, Vancouver 2010 Olympian, Ski Jumping


“Representing Canada at the Youth Olympic Games has been a dream come true, and to go as flagbearer will make this experience even more special. Canada’s winter sport legacy has been crafted by generations of determined, persistent, and courageous athletes, and it is my sincere hope to honour that history during these Games. Hoisting the maple leaf, a unifying symbol for Canada, is something I will do with pride.”

Benjamin Churchill, Lillehammer 2016 Flag Bearer, Biathlon


“Biathlon is a sport that has largely flown under the radar in Canada over the last two decades, but as Biathlon Canada has continued to invest in our athletes, we’ve seen increased success internationally, and are now witnessing the next generation successfully developing through the system. Ben is proof of this. His much-deserved selection to lead Team Canada into the Youth Olympic Games reinforces our program is headed in the right direction. He is an exceptional young Canadian both on and off the ski trails.”

Eric de Nys, High Performance Director, Biathlon Canada

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