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The Scottish skier Andrew Young in action at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Cross Country Men 150 km Interval Start Classic in Seefeld

THE Cricketer beats six opponents again But only in a metaphorical sense

Andrew Young’s nickname has nothing to do with his racket or ball prowess, but is a nod to when he was part of a British ski team that completely surpassed his most famous Swedish opponents

“How does it feel”, the defeated Swedish team manager was asked in the episode “to be beaten by this team of cricketers?”

“He didn’t see the funny side,” recalls Young with a laugh. “But it’s become a bit of a running joke. Every time we disturb the odds, it’s the cricketers again”

Britain may not have much of a backcountry in cross country compared to its Scandinavian and Central European counterparts, but in Young they have one of the discipline’s rising stars

The Huntly-born skier, who at the age of 26 had already completed three Olympic Winter Games, was back on the sprint podium last weekend after a five-year absence in Davos (Switzerland)

He will return to the snow this weekend for the final round of the World Cup in Dresden and feel a little bigger after rewarding all his efforts and the efforts of the British team with a bronze medal throughout the year

“Somebody asked me why it took so long to get back on the sprint podium – it’s not like I didn’t try!” he adds

“But it was just nice to go back there. I did very well in the final too. The main emotions after that were relief, happiness and fatigue after doing four laps in one day to reach the final. So after that there wasn’t much partying

“I raced again the next day, so it was in full recovery mode. It only sank a little on Monday on the way to Dresden

“It’s nice to have a tangible reward for your efforts, even though the feeling was before that the team was going in the right direction Everyone got a top 10 result this year It’s about the support people, the technicians , the trainers, the physiotherapists and everyone else Every success is a team effort ”

The 28-year-old moved to Trondheim, Norway in 2010 and now divides most of the years between the two countries.He returns to his parents’ house in Aberdeenshire for a summer of skiing, working at the gym and running, and then drives to Norway on the slopes for the winter

“I’ve lived there for 10 years and they have now accepted me as a Norwegian volunteer skier,” he reveals

“I drive over there for a club and they treat me like one of the locals. I can speak the language although it took me a few years to learn it. My friends kept me busy and made fun of me when I did something Said the wrong thing – it will help you learn faster! ”

None of his Norwegian ski friends have been to Davos and will not be in Dresden either He has joined the Swedes and Finns to stay away because of the pandemic

“I find that surprising, especially from the Norwegians, who are the biggest and richest team,” says Young

“You’re like the All Blacks in rugby. You have a huge budget and the best support people. So you thought they’d found a way to make it safe

“We did the seven-hour drive from Davos to Dresden in the team van that we normally use for our equipment. It’s only a three-seater, so it was the two athletes and our bodies that were fine since we were in together anyway a bladder It’s the most uncomfortable van I’ve ever been in! But it was safer than being on a train or plane with people you didn’t know

“So if the small UK team can find a way to manage all of the Covid stuff, you’d think the big teams like Norway should be able to do that too”I don’t understand why these teams didn’t travel, but I think you can’t judge them too harshly in these times”

Young is aiming for another Olympic appearance in Beijing as early as 2022 to improve on past performances

“This is a really big goal for me. It will be my fourth Olympics and I feel like I haven’t done my best. I was fine in Sochi, but I could have done better in Vancouver and Pyeongchang

“So I want to go to China and produce what I’m capable of. And appearances like last weekend show me that I’m on the right track”

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World news – FI – Scottish skier Andrew Young is aiming for the 2022 Olympics after returning to the podium in Dresden