2015 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival

January 26, 2015

Update; Enda Bolger has finished in 68th position of 110 starters in the Men’s Giant Slalom today.  Neither Ben Anselmi and Gary Skinner finished the course.  A more complete update will follow.


The 2015 Winter EYOF will take place in Vorarlberg/Liechtenstein (AUT/LIE) between 24 and 31 January 2015 and attended by European Olympic Committee President Pat Hickey.

He said “This is the first time in the long history of the EYOF that the Festival is being organised by two countries.The “Vorarlberg & Liechtenstein 2015″ Winter European Youth Olympic Festival will bring together 900 athletes aged 15 to 18 from 45 countries, who will compete in eight sports with 29 disciplines.It will be an exciting event for all participating athletes”

The heart of the Festival will be located in Austria, in the Montafon valley and the two neighbouring towns Schruns and Tschagguns.

Team Ireland will be represented by four alpine skiers:  Tess Arbez based in St Julien France, and  Gary Skinner, Enda Bolger and Ben Anselmi , all Dublin based.

Team Ireland  will be led by Chef de Mission Anne  O’Connor ,Team Coach Alain Untergasmair and Team Physiotherapist Eimear O’Leary.

Anne O’Connor said ” The Winter Youth Festivals give our athletes the opportunity to perform in a multi – nation event with other high calibre athletes across many disciplines. We have a great support team in place to assist our young athletes to perform to their potential”

New Balance will be the official team clothing sponsor.

There will be eight sports on the programme of the 2015 Winter EYOF, in the following sports venues:

  • Alpine Skiing in Malbun (LIE) and St. Gallenkirch-Garfrescha (AUT)
  • Biathlon in Buerserberg (AUT)
  • Cross Country in Steg (LIE)
  • Figure Skating in Dornbirn (AUT)
  • Ice Hockey in Tschagguns (AUT)
  • Nordic Combined in Gaschurn (AUT)
  • Ski Jumping in Tschagguns (AUT)
  • Snowboarding in Schruns / Hochjoch (AUT)

The NOC delegations will lodged at hotels in the Montafon valley.

The Medal Ceremonies will take place at Kirchplatz in Schruns.

For more information on the 2015 WEYOF please see:




Tess Arbez








Tess Arbez

When did you start skiing?
I started skiing when I was two, first just going down cross-country tracks on tiny skis with my hands on my knees, then on the quiet, easy slopes of the Jura mountains, in France.

When were you first selected to compete for Ireland?
This is the first year that I am competing in international races with an Irish FIS licence. I have just returned home from Predeal in Romania where I raced for Ireland in the Small European Ski Nations Cup. However the EYOF selection is my first for Ireland in a major event.

Are you still at school?

Yes I am in the penultimate year of my high school studies, preparing a Scientific Baccalaureat at Lycee Mont Blanc close to St Gervais in France. Thanks to the support of the SAI I am in a special class for snowsports competitors, which allows more time off school in winter to balance ski racing and studies.

What other interests do you have?
Music and cinema, singing, chatting with my friends.

What does it mean to you to be selected for the Winter European Youth Olympics?
It is a great honour for me to be selected for this exciting event. I hope I will be able to ski to my best possible level in the individual races and the team event with Enda, Ben and Gary.

Whats your favourite food?

Escalope milanese

What music will you bring with you to EYOF?
A random selection of pop music I have on my phone which I will sing to when no one is listening

Athletes you admire most in any sport?
Felix Neureuther, Lindsay Vonn and Ted Ligety



Gary Skinner








Gary Skinner

When did you start Skiing?                 

3/4 years of age

When were you first selected to compete for Ireland ?

At the 2009 Borrufa Cup

Are you still at School?

Yes – Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare

What other interests do you have?         


What does it mean to you to be selected for the Winter Olympics?  

 It means a lot as I am extremely proud  to ski for Ireland at such an Event

 What is your Favourite food?                


What music will you bring to EYOF?

My phone is actually broken at the minute so I may have no music but I would listen to anything that would pump me up for the race.

Athlete you admire most in any sport?  

I admire Paul Scholes even though he has retired as he was a great soccer player


Enda Bolger









Enda Bolger

When did you start skiing?

I started skiing when I was 7 years old, every year we went on a family ski holiday but it was not until I joined the ski club of Ireland that Skiing went from being a hobby once or twice a year to being my main competitive sport.I joined the ski club of Ireland in 2008 and almost straight away was recruited for the ski club development race squad. I spent 3 years training with the squad before being moved up onto the Race squad ! From here I went to different races all over the UK doing snow dome and dry slope races, this then led to the start of my ” snow skiing “.

When were you first selected to compete for Ireland?

I was selected to be part of the 2012 Irish children’s ski team to go to Andorra for the 20th “Trouffa Brouffa” competition. Then again returning to the same competition in 2013.

It was in 2014 that I got my FIS ski licence allowing me to travel to and compete in international races to try get my  FIS points down. That then brings us to the start of the 2014 /2015 session.

Which since I have been in training and travelling to races and quite literally chasing the snow.

Are you still at school?

When at home attend St.Benildus College in Stillorgan doing the Leaving Cert ! And doing physical training in the gym.

What other interests do you have?

Apart from skiing I am also quite a completive sailor and race 3 times a week in the D.B.S.C series where we are ranked as one of the fastest boats in Dublin Bay. The boat I race on is a 32.5 Benito called Bendemeer.

I am also a senior sailing instructor in the Irish National Sailing School where I have worked for a few years and I also learnt how to sail there.

I spent the past summer working as a sailing instructor in Spain which is safe to say was the experience of a life time, leaving home at 17 years to move away and work for a session. To then come home and jump straight back into full time training !

What does it mean to you to be selected for the Winter European Youth Olympics?

Being selected for the EYOF is a dream come true. It means I get a unique chance to represent my country and do the best I can for the country knowing that it will always stand to me as a life achievement and will always remember waving the flag at  such an event !

Whats your favourite food?

Steak and chips !

What music will you bring with you to EYOF?

Hard to say I’m just going to bring my iPod with me.

Athlete you admire most in any sport?

Lindsay Vonn I find as a good example to follow as she has good technique and has a good history of podium positions.




Benjamin Anselmi








When did you start Skiing?

I live in Dundrum, but spend time in my father’s home town near the small ski resort Bobbio just above Lake Como in Italy. I have always had a keen interest in skiing and all my winter holidays are spent skiing in the alps where I joined the local Ski Club in Bobbio. I joined the Ski Club of Ireland Kilternan and raced for the racing squad winning many Irish Open Ski Championships Races over the years. In 2011 I won 3rd place in the Italian Regional GS Race Championships for the Milan, Como and Lecco area qualifying for the Regional Final SG and was placed 11th in the English Championship Slalom.

How have you prepared for the WEYOF?

In preparation for the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival I habe spent the past few months has been living in Bormio, training and racing with the Ski Club Bormio.

Are you still at School?

Yes, I’m a transition year student in Wesley College Dublin.

What other Interests do you have?

Windsurfing, Downhill Mountain biking and Motorcycling Trials.









Anne O’Connor, Chef de Mission, Team Ireland with extensive experience at WEYOF and Secretary -Snowsports Association of Ireland










Alain Untergasmair, Team Coach, and Ski Coach to Team Ireland Sochi 2014


eimear oleary1








Eimear O’Leary, Physiotherapist, 2010 World Youth Games and London 2012 Team HQ


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