A total of 44 German athletes are due to compete here during the Winter Youth Olympic Games and have been urged to enjoy the experience by a member of the team who competed in the inaugural edition of the event, using it as the platform to catapult himself into among the top stars in his sport.
A delegation from one of the world's most powerful winter sports countries is scheduled to arrive here today ahead of the Opening Ceremony at the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena on Friday (February 12).
Ski jumper Andreas Willinger was part of the German team at the inaugural edition of the Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck four years ago, winning an gold medal in the individual competition as a 16-year-old.
He was then a member of the German quartet which claimed the Olympic team title at Sochi 2014, along with Severin Freund, Marinus Kraus and Andreas Wank.
Wellinger has urged those travelling to compete at Lillehammer 2016 to embrace the experience of taking part in what will be the majority of the team’s first-ever international multi-sport event.
“Of course, everyone goes there to do his best and to win medals,” Traunstein, who is now 20, said.
“But we also had a lot of fun away from the competition.
“Take as many joint activities as possible and approach the event in a fun manner.”
Other German athletes to have competed at Innsbruck 2012 include biathlete Franziska Preuß, who secured a hat-trick of titles in the Austrian city before going on to World Championships success at the 2015 event in Kontiolahti in Finland, helping Germany clinch the gold medal in the 4x6 kilometres relay.
Snowboarder Johannes Höpfl was also a member of the German team at the first-ever Winter Youth Olympics and represented his country at Sochi 2014, as was ski jumper Katharina Althaus, winner of a gold medal on the normal hill at the 2015 World Championships in Falun.
“For me it [Innsbruck 2012] was a huge experience,” she said.
“I've learned a lot and gained self-confidence.”
The International Olympic Committee did not run an official medals table from Innsbruck 2012, though Germany picked up the most medals as they won eight gold, two silver and seven bronze.
Around 1,100 athletes from 71 countries are due to take part in 70 medal events during Lillehammer 2016, which are scheduled to last until February 21.