We’re not sure if Nathan Young has any interest in a career in diplomacy, but one thing is for sure: the 17-year-old from Torbay has a knack at helping achieve successful international co-operation.
On Wednesday, the 17-year-old Young joined Laura Nagy in a Canadian-Hungarian partnership to win the mixed doubles curling championship at the 2020 World Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland, finishing things up with a 9-5 win over the French-Russian team of Chana Beitone and Nikolai Lysako.
Before the mixed doubles competition began, Young and Nagy had never met.
There’s was one of 48 duos created by scrambling the players from last week's 24-country mixed team event at the Games. The player matches for the doubles entries were determined by final standings in team play.
“At the start of the week, being thrown together, we weren’t sure how it was going to go down, but now we’re very happy,” Young told the International Olympic Committee’s website, olympic.org.
Nagy, who is a student at an international school, speaks English fluently, and Young said that certainly helped as they went 6-0 in the event.
“The fact we could communicate easily helped, and the trust and belief between us kept growing,” he said,
Young and Nagy had defeated a Japanese-French team 6-2 in a semifinal earlier in the day. That game and the final were played at Champery, about an hour from the official Games host city of Lausanne.
Among those in attendance were Young’s parents, his sister and both sets of grandparents.
“Amazing. I am still in the moment right now.,” Young told Curling Canada (curling.ca) after the gold-medal win.
“There aren’t many words. It’s already such an amazing experience to be here and represent Canada and have my family here. This is just a big bonus to walk away with this.”
Young had been skip of Canada’s four-player *mixed team that went 5-1 during the first half of the World Youth Olympic, which are for athletes aged 15 to 17. That Canadian team’s only loss came in the quarter-final round.
When Young returns home, he’ll have just enough time to prepare for another major competition. He and his junior-aged teams are among nine entries set to begin play in the 2020 Tankard provincial men’s championship on Tuesday at the Re/Max Centre in St. John’s.