By David Gold

Patrick Caldwell_in_actionDecember 20 - The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has announced a 57 member team for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck next month.

The 10 day competition begins on January 13, and will feature more than 1,000 competitors over 15 sports in what will be the first ever Winter Youth Olympics.

USOC chief executive, Scott Blackman, said: "We are extremely pleased to be sending such a talented group of athletes to represent Team USA at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.

"This event is a critical asset in expanding the audience of the Olympic Movement and our young athletes will gain sporting experience, culture and education while they participate."

A total of 22 states are represented by the US selection, and among the group is Patrick Caldwell (pictured), the son of the four-time Olympic cross country skier Tim, who himself competed at the Innsbruck Winter Olympics in 1976.

"The Youth Olympic Games are a great way to develop some of our top up-and-coming athletes," said Todd English, Chef de Mission for Team USA.

"Our athletes will gain invaluable experience and the competition will serve as a building block for the future success of Team USA on the international stage."

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