Ironically three years (minus a day) since I last had skis clipped to my feet, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the individuals involved with the Youth Olympic Games at the International Olympic Committee. I was given the opportunity to present my experiences as an athlete, Youth Olympian, student and pilot to them.
Their passion, energy and enthusiasm for their work is motivating. This team of pioneers and innovators are constantly evolving the concept of the Youth Olympic Games and making sure those involved with the unique environment have life changing experiences through empowerment and inspiration. Their work is not just about delivering an Olympic Games for young people, they have many other projects and initiatives surrounding the events themselves. These include Learn & Share, Young Ambassadors, Athlete Role Models, Young Reporters, Young Change Maker Plus…to name a few! I particularly find the work of the Young Change Maker Plus programme amazing; here are some links to a small sample of the incredible work these young people are doing in their local communities:
- IOC celebrates second successful year for its Young Change Makers programme
- IOC Young Change Makers continue to make a difference around the world
- Valery de Falbaire fighting diabetes in the gym
- Samantha Miranda African girl power
- Kate Anderson building a brighter future
When I knew I was going to compete in the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games, I thought the purpose of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) was to introduce us to the Olympic environment in order to prepare us for competing in future Olympic Games. But I was wrong. Whilst to a small extent that is true, only approximately 10% of Youth Olympians grow to become Olympians. What happens to the other 90%?
Looking back, the YOG is an opportunity for all those involved (athletes, volunteers, reporters, local children, etc) to learn skills which will allow them to become professionals and leaders in the world beyond their sporting endeavours. I’d like to take a moment to thank the YOG Team at the IOC for all their work over the years to ensure the YOG editions were a success and the work they continue to do to touch young people’s with the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games and the power of sport. It was a real pleasure to talk to some of you and I feel inspired to find a way to make a difference to young people around me in the future, as that is a long term goal of mine.
Whilst in Lausanne, I had the opportunity to explore the city which will host the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020. Set in a stunning environment with a beautiful old centre, I cannot wait to see what the Lausanne 2020 Games will have in store! From cobbled lively streets on rolling terrain to a peaceful walk along the shores of Lac Leman, Lausanne is certainly a charming place! In addition, if you are passionate about sport and/or a fan of the Olympic Games, it is definitely worth visiting the Olympic Museum where you can learn about the ancient origins of the Olympics, the development of equipment through the years, the Olympic symbols and the spread of the Olympic Movement. Visiting the museum created a few emotional moments watching the video clips and immersing myself once more in the atmosphere of the Games.
“Olympism is not a system, it is a state of mind. The most widely divergent approaches can be accommodated in it, and no race or time can hold an exclusive monopoly on it.” Pierre de Coubertin, 1918
Citius, Altius, Fortius!