The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the list of 37 Athlete Role Models (ARMs) who will attend the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games from 16 to 28 August in Nanjing, China.
Selected by the 28 International Federations whose sports will feature at Nanjing 2014, the list features many legendary names from the world of sport, including Olympic and world champions. In Nanjing, they will play a key role in supporting, mentoring and offering advice to the 3,800 young athletes who will be participating in the Games. Also on the list will be ARMs from the world of rugby sevens and golf, sports which will make their YOG debuts at Nanjing 2014 before appearing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The ARMs will be accessible to the athletes both in the Youth Olympic Village and during a series of educational activities and workshops that will focus on areas such as skills development, how to lead healthy lifestyles, environment and social responsibility and Olympism.
Athletes at the Youth Olympic Games will get to engage in conversations with the ARMs throughout the Games. They will be behind the scenes during competition and will also be available for informal chats in the ARM lounge that will be open to all participants. The athletes can also learn valuable lessons from the ARMs during “Chat with Champions” sessions, which will also be accessible to people around the world on the IOC’s digital platforms. Fans of the YOG, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to put their questions directly to the ARMs during informal chat sessions on the IOC’s social media channels.
The main goal behind making the ARMs as accessible as possible is so they can share their experiences and inspire the young athletes to be the best they can be both on and off the field of play.
Claudia Bokel, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and Olympic silver medallist in fencing, said: “The Athlete Role Model programme is a really unique element of the Youth Olympic Games. The ARMs have so much valuable information to pass on to the younger generation. They will really inspire and empower the athletes long after the Games conclude to not only be great ‘Youth Olympians’, but to share the skills and values learnt at the YOG with their communities and peers.”
Also in attendance will be the IOC Athletes’ Commission, which will play a key role in the educational activities and workshops for athletes off the field of play.