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Olympic Council of Ireland

01/13/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/14/2020 04:56

Meet Matt Ryan – Winter Youth Olympian

Matt Ryan has been an active athlete this week, having already competed in the Super G, Alpine Combined and the Giant Slalom, in which he crashed today.

Earlier this week we caught up with Matt and asked him about his how he got involved in sport,

Matt Ryan previously represented Ireland in the European Youth Olympic Festival in Sarajevo which he describes as

'one of the greatest experiences of my life so far, and I'm super happy to be back here. There are a ton of athletes here, it's great to see all the other sports. Actually, when I was in Sarajevo I watched a couple of the other sports - ice hockey and speed skating, so it's awesome to watch the other sports around me and to see the athletes.'

He spoke about how he got involved,

'My parents moved from Ireland about 25 years ago and they took us up to a mountain in New Hampshire called Waterville Valley where we would ski on the weekends until two years ago, I went full time there and I go to school in Waterville Valley Academy, and now I ski full time. It's one of my passions and I love going up there every day and skiing.'

We asked him about the difference between Super G and he explained the main difference between them is the length of the skis and the size of the turns. The Super G takes a ski that is about 2.1 metres long and the turns are about 40m apart. So the skis on that can get higher than 80kmph.

The GS is about a 2 metre ski, and the turns are 30 metres apart, and a little bit slower speeds. And the Slalom is a 1.6 metres ski and a 12 metre turns and the speeds again are a little slower than before. So they all have their different aspects, and a well rounded skier is someone who is able to compete in all those events and do well, and I'll try to do that this week. My favourite event is the slalom, I like the quickness of it, and it takes agility - it's one of my favourites.

It's so important to continue training, even when there's no snow, and the Summer is mostly cardio and strength training. So I work out about 3-4 times a week and I also work on my cardiovascular exercise, to prepare myself for the upcoming season. It's really important to have physical fitness in this sport, and the summer is one of the most important times.

Matt's training season started a little earlier than normal,

We actually a little earlier this year, we started in September when we went over to Switzerland for two weeks to train and in then in October again. November is when it really picks up.

My dad is from Dublin, from Ballinteer, and my mom is from Roscommon, a small town called