Zak Carrick-Smith shortlisted for Piotr Nurowski Prize

The European Olympic Committees (EOC) has announced the five finalists for the 9th Winter Edition of the Piotr Nurowski Best Young European Athlete Prize with the winner to be crowned at a Gala Dinner during the 53rd EOC General Assembly (GA) in Bucharest, Romania.

Voting for the winner will take place during the first day of the GA on 6 June with the Award Ceremony taking place during the Gala Dinner later that evening.

The Piotr Nurowski Prize is awarded to an athlete aged between 14 and 18 who has excelled in their sport and embodied the Olympic Values, both inside and outside of competition, over the past year. There are annual awards for Summer and Winter sports.

The five nominees for the 2024 Winter Edition of the Piotr Nurowski Best Young European Athlete Prize are:

Zak Carrick-Smith (GBR) Alpine Skiing
Stephan Embacher (AUT) Ski Jumping
Antonin Guy (FRA) Biathlon
Minja Korhonen (FIN) Nordic Combined
Julia Tannheimer (GER) Biathlon

Zak Carrick-Smith made history for Great Britain at the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Gangwon 2024, becoming his country’s first-ever alpine skiing medallist at an Olympic event. He won golds in the alpine combined and slalom and a silver in the giant slalom.

Building on his two gold medals at the Winter European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2023 Friuli Venezia Giulia in the individual and team normal hill events, Austrian ski jumper Stephan Embacher made his debut at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup. Furthermore, he won three golds in the normal hill individual, team and mixed team events at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Planica.

French biathlete Antonin Guy added to his national success this season with medals in major events. He claimed three gold medals at the Winter YOG in the 12.5km individual, 7.5km sprint and single mixed relay events, along with a silver in the mixed relay. That was followed by 12.5km individual and 4x6km mixed relay golds at the Youth World Championships, and a silver in the men’s 3×7.5km relay.

Finland’s Minja Korhonen enjoyed success in Nordic combined at the Winter YOG, where she won golds in the Gundersen and team normal hill events, and followed it up with another victory in the Gundersen normal hill competition at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Planica.

Winter EYOF 2023 Friuli Venezia Giulia gold medallist Julia Tannheimer clinched two golds in the 12.5km individual and women’s 4x6km relay, and two silver medals in the 7.5km sprint and 4x6km mixed relay at the Junior World Championships in Otepää. She also made her Biathlon World Cup debut in front of a home German crowd in Ruhpolding.

The shortlist comprises of the three athletes who received the most votes by the European National Olympic Committees and two athletes who were nominated by an EOC panel of experts.

Each of the five finalists of this prestigious prize will win training scholarships to support their development. For the winner, this training scholarship will value €15,000, the second and third-place athletes will receive €8,000 and €5,000 respectively and the fourth and fifth-place athletes will both earn €3,000.


The Piotr Nurowski Prize

The Piotr Nurowski Prize was created by the EOC in 2010 to remember Olympic great Piotr Nurowski, the former President of the Polish Olympic Committee. Through his example and his memory, it encourages young athletes to pursue a career in top-class sport, as well as inspiring future generations to adopt a healthy lifestyle based on Olympic values and principles. It takes into account an athletes’ performance during the Winter EYOF and other major events, and given equal importance is their conduct during events and their engagement with Olympic culture, values and friendship. The Winter edition of the Piotr Nurowski Prize was launched in 2016, and 2024 marks the ninth time it has been awarded. Last year’s winner of the Winter edition was ice hockey player Nela Lopušanová from Slovakia.

The winners of the previous Piotr Nurowski Prize editions can be found here.

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