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Sitka Supports the USA Luge Team | PR: Italy takes three gold medals at Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympics

Sitka Creations is a sponsor of the USA Luge team.

Date: January 24, 2024
Contact: Lauren Howe, Phone 978-400-3036,   

Italy takes three gold medals at Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympics 

Bivins/Lux placed 11th in men’s doubles, Team USA ninth in team relay


GANGWON, South Korea—The Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympics kicked off on January 19 with opening ceremonies, welcoming more than 1,900 athletes across 15 disciplines.  

Seven athletes represented the United States in luge at the Alpensia Sliding Center, site of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The luge competition, which concluded on January 22, consisted of 15 sleds in both doubles’ disciplines and 20 sleds for the singles disciplines. 

Italy walked away with six medals during the Games, Austria with five, Germany with two and Latvia with one medal. Team USA experienced some difficulties in the women’s singles and doubles races. Leading the United States was the men’s doubles team of Nathan Bivins and Wolfgang Lux, who placed 11th in the discipline, and the U.S. team placing eighth in the relay.

Women’s Singles 

Ellie Kleinheinz (Santa Clara, Calif.) finished in 18th place. The Archbishop Mitty High School student finished with a time of one minute, 40.014 seconds. Teammate Talia Tonn (Cecil, Wisc.) was sitting in 11th place after the first heat, but experienced problems in her second run and did not finish.  

Taking the gold medal was Germany’s Antonia Pietschmann with a time of 1:35.774. She shared the podium with Italy’s Alexandra Oberstolz in 1:35.326 in silver, and Austrian Marie Riedl in third with a time of 1:36.928.  

Men’s Doubles 

Bivins (Castleton, N.Y.)/Lux (Swanton, Vt.) led the U.S., placing 11th with a time of 1:46.132.   

Italy’s Phillipp Brunner/Manuel Weissensteiner clocked a two-run combined time of 1:34.283, which secured the gold medal. Latvia’s Janis Gruzdulis-Borovojs/Edens Cepulis won the silver medal in 1:34.630, and Germany’s Louis Gruenbeck/Maximilian Kuehrt placed third in 1:35.076. 

Men’s Singles 

Orson Colby (Riverton, Utah) was the lone entrant representing Team USA. The Riverton High School student placed 14th with a time of 1:36.114.  

The gold medal went to Italy’s Leon Haselrieder with two-run combined time of 1:32.356. His father, Oswald, won a bronze medal in men’s doubles at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.  

Taking the silver was Paul Socher of Austria with a time of 1:32.541, followed by bronze medalist Philipp Brunner of Italy in 1:33.241. Brunner won gold in the men’s doubles event with Manuel Weissensteiner. 

Women’s Doubles 

Sadie Martin (Vermontville, N.Y.)/Haidyn Bunker (West Farmington, Ohio), the lone women’s doubles team representing the United States, did not cross the finish line following a crash in their second heat.

Italy’s Alexandra Oberstolz/Katharina Kofler continued their country’s gold medal collection, with a time of 1:36.471. Oberstolz took home her second medal of the competition following her second-place finish in the women’s singles race. Oberstolz is the daughter of four-time Olympian Christian Oberstolz and Anastasia Oberstolz-Antonova, a 2022 Olympian.  

The family affair continued with the women’s doubles podium for Austria, with the women’s singles bronze medalist Marie Riedl winning the silver in women’s doubles with teammate Nina Lerch in 1:37.141. Riedl/Lerch got the better of their older sisters, Lina Riedl/Anna Lerch, who took bronze in 1:37.378. 

Team Relay 

Team USA was represented by Tonn, Colby and the doubles team of Bivins/Lux.  

The team relay consisted of one woman, one man and one men’s doubles team from each nation. The woman goes first and upon reaching the finish, hits a touchpad hanging over the track, which opens the gate for the men’s singles competitor. He hits the touchpad and opens the gate for the doubles team. The clock stops when the doubles team hits the touch pad.  

The United States team placed ninth with a total time of 2:36.140 seconds. Tonn clocked a 50.686 run, followed by Colby in 52.079. Bivins/Lux posted a run time of 53.375.  

Alexandra Oberstolz, Leon Haselrieder, and Philipp Bruner/Manuel Weissensteiner won the gold for Italy in 2:29.470. Latvians Margita Sirsnina, Edvards Markitans, and the duo of Janis Gruzdulis-Borovojs/Edens Cepulis were the silver medalists in 2:30.299. The bronze medal went to Austria’s Marie Riedl, Paul Socher, and Johannes Scharnagl/Moritz Schiegl.  

Results for the 2024 Youth Olympic Games can be seen here:  

All attention now shifts to Altenberg, Germany for the FIL Luge World Championships taking place January 26-28. All races can be seen via the FIL’s YouTube channel: 

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