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Recent FIS News
Below you will find a listing of recent FIS News
FIS Athlete Role Models involved with Innsbruck 2012
The Athlete Role Model program played a unique role at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria. FIS was happy to have six former top athletes join the Games to interact with the youth Olympians. Ski Jumper Andreas Küttel (SUI) and Cross-Country Skier Petra Majdic (SLO) made special appearances at the Seefeld arena for the Nordic disciplines. Samppa Lajunen (FIN), a retired Nordic Combined athlete, participated in the Congress Hall's Culture and Education Program (CEP) activities. Former Snowboarder Nicola Thost (GER) and Freestyle Skier Shannon Happe Bahrke (USA) also participated in the CEP and visited the competitions in Kühtai whilst Marco Büchel (LIE) was in his element at the Alpine venue at Patscherkofel.
In fact, Patscherkofel and Alpine Skiing featured a total of three big names cheering them on. Marco Büchel spent three days as a FIS ARM involved with the CEP at the Congress Center and at the Alpine venue to present the Yoggl during the mascot ceremonies. One of Croatia's brightest slalom stars Ana Jelusic, was in Innsbruck as the Croatian NOC's Young Ambassador and visited all of the Alpine competitions. Probably the biggest surprise for the young athletes was a visit from Lindsey Vonn, who visited Patscherkofel to cheer on the ski racers as an official IOC YOG Ambassador and she also made an appearance at the Congress Center. Having these three professional alpine athletes at the YOG really underlined the importance to the rising stars of their competitions and how being an all-around athlete is a goal to strive for.
Two-time freestyle ski Olympic medallist Shannon Happe Bahrke was out in Kühtai cheering on the athletes in the inaugural freestyle ski halfpipe in Olympic repertoire. During the Mascot ceremonies on venue, Shannon proudly presented the Yoggl mascots to each athlete on the men's and ladies' podiums. It was a proud moment for her in support of the aspiring athletes. As the sun shone down on the crowd, Shannon displayed her gracious spirit through interviews with the press as the YOG athletes looked on with admiration. For these young athletes, the Games provided a time to learn about new aspects of being a professional athlete. A positive, energetic role model, Shannon also spent time at the Congress Hall in Innsbruck for the CEP. There she talked about safe sport, how to wear appropriate warm winter clothing and took part in workshops supporting athletes in balancing their lifestyles. One of the most popular sessions was the ‘Meet the Role Model' where the athletes of YOG were able to ask their ARMs questions about life as an Olympian.
As ARM Nicola Thost who was the first female to ever win a gold medal for snowboard halfpipe in Nagano 1998, had the pleasure of visiting Kühtai on the day of the Olympic premiere of Snowboard and Freestyle Ski halfpipe finals. Still an active voice and coach to many of these young athletes today, Nicola spent her time in Kühtai at the top of the pipe encouraging the athletes right before they started their Olympic debut runs. When Nicola was not up in Kühtai with the athletes on the snow, she was in the Congress Hall in Innsbruck participating in the CEP through workshops focusing on time management, social media management and development, safe sport practices and also spending time in the ARM Lounge.
Petra Majdic enjoyed every second of her role as the ARM for Cross-Country Skiing. She visited both the individual classic and sprint events, preferring to stand on the side of the tracks cheering for the young athletes and the pleasure she had from seeing two young Slovenian girls win medals in her own sport of Cross-Country Skiing was nearly as great as for her own medals. With a full schedule mixed with meeting the IOC President, interacting with the youth through the CEP and attending the sports events, Petra Majdic was impressed by the young participants. Giving interviews to TV, the stadium speaker and handing out the mascots to the winning athletes, Majdic was in her true element: learning from the young athletes and sharing her knowledge.
Andreas Küttel visited one of the new events in YOG, the mixed Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined team event. Even in challenging weather conditions, the athletes put on a strong performance, and impressed him and the spectators. Being involved with the mascot ceremonies and the CEP, Küttel met a lot of young inspiring athletes eager to learn from a former champion. Still involved with sports through his job, Küttel found the ARM as a great opportunity both to be part of the 1st Winter Youth Olympic Games to share his knowledge with the young athletes.
Brigitte Köck, well known as the first Austrian to ever win a medal for snowboarding at an Olympic Games, is a local to Innsbruck and thankfully could join as an ARM as well. She started out her involvement in YOG running the torch for a leg of the relay through Innsbruck. This local hero inspired the athletes during her busy schedule of CEP workshops in the Congress Hall.
Contributed by Mari Mathews and Sofie Torlei Olsen