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FIS MEDIA INFO: High caliber Athlete Role Models in FIS disciplines at Innsbruck 2012
21st September 2011//-- The International Ski Federation (FIS) is pleased to announce the FIS Athlete Role Models (ARMs) for the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games at Innsbruck from 13th-22nd January 2012.
The involvement of the Athlete Role Models to mentor the young athletes attending the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at their first edition in Singapore 2010 was one of the most appreciated features of this new Olympic event. Some recently retired athletes have agreed to serve as the Athlete Role Models for the FIS disciplines in Innsbruck 2012. The list features some of the best athletes of the last decade in their respective FIS disciplines who between them have won nine Olympic medals, 14 FIS World Championship medals, 55 FIS World Cup victories and collected 153 FIS World Cup podium places.
The FIS Athlete Role Models at Innsbruck 2012 will be:
Cross-Country Skiing - Petra Majdic (SLO)
These former top athletes will all be sharing their personal experiences and working with the young participants to pass on the values of the Olympic Movement. The Athlete Role Models will spend time with the athletes, answering their questions and providing tips on everything from healthy eating to training regimens. They also have an additional opportunity to enrich the overall experience away from the competition venues at the YOG 2012 by working through the Innsbruck 2012 Cultural Education Program which is based on five educational themes: Olympism and the Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyles, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Petra Majdic (SLO), Cross-Country Skiing
Now having time to focus on other things than skiing, Majdic is honored to be nominated as one of the FIS ARMs: "One of the most inspiring moments in my career was, when I was competing at my last Junior Championships in Seefeld (AUT) and at that time, Cross-Country Skiing was not popular in Slovenia. Nobody believed that it is possible to reach a top ten position let alone a medal, not even our psychologist. But I and my coach believed it and we did it. In that moment I realized that sky is the limit and that everything is possible only if your will is strong enough."
Andreas Küttel (SUI), Ski Jumping
After several top ten placements at the Olympic Winter Games and two World Cup victories, Küttel looks forward being an Athlete Role Model: "I am excited to see how professionally these young athletes prepare for their big events and what goals they pursue. The direct contact with these young talents will be a look back at my own situation many years ago. As I had just started ski jumping my dad took me to watch the World Championships in Oberstdorf in 1987. We were standing close to the take-off and I saw the athletes warming up and flying over this big hill. I wanted to do the same!"
Samppa Lajunen (FIN), Nordic Combined
Marco Büchel (LIE), Alpine Skiing
Büchel retired after the 2010/11 season and is excited to watch the young athletes participate in Innsbruck: "It has always been an honor to represent my country at the Olympic Games. I participated in six Olympics, and every one of them was a unique experience. The Olympic spirit caught me from the beginning, and it was fascinating to meet all these different athletes from different nations and sports."
Shannon Bahrke Happe (USA), Freestyle Skiing
No less than 27 podiums over the last 12 years are what this motivated skier accomplished, and she is very enthusiastic about sharing her experiences with the young athletes in Innsbruck: "I guess there are really 3 things I want to share with the athletes at the YOG and they are: Have as much fun as you can, train harder than you think you need to and play as many sports as possible"
Nicola Thost (GER), Snowboarding
Thost has since started her own talent program called "Sprungbrett" (springboard) in Germany and is very much engaged with youth's participation in sports and wants to leave the young athletes with some key learnings: "If you love what you do, success will be with you when it's time for it! The most important thing is not to win, but to take part."
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For more information, please visit www.fis-ski.com.