Huffpost High School

Youth Olympics And Gender: How Do You Feel About Co-Ed Teams?

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Inspiring teen athletes from all over the world are competing in Innsbruck, Austria for the 2012 Youth Winter Olympics this week. If you haven't been watching, click here to see some amazing videos from the event so far.

The Youth Olympics are different from the regular Olympics (which are happening in London this year) not only because of the age limitation of its athletes, who must be between 14 and 18 years old to compete, but because of their inclusion of mixed-gender teams. This year, the alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, luge, short-track speedskating and ski jumping teams have both young men and women competing against each other in the same events.

"The athletes love it, because it builds camaraderie of teams beyond just men or women," lan Ashley, the U.S. Olympic Committee's chief of sport performance, told USA Today.

But mixed teams are, unsurprisingly, also often a source of tension in high school sports. Last week, a high school in Massachusetts contested a swim record broken by a boy -- who swam on a girls' team -- this past November. The previous record-holder was a girl and the community has posed the question: Should his record count in the same category?

So, student athletes, what do you think? Tell us your thoughts on mixed-gender teams in the comments below or tweet us @huffpostteen.

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Snapshots From The 2012 Youth Olympic Games
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