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Recent FIS News
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Benni Raich named Innsbruck 2012 ambassador
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Austrian Alpine skier Benjamin Raich will be an Ambassador for the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which will take place from 13th to 22nd January 2012.
Raich, the gold medalist in slalom and giant slalom at the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games, is the second Winter YOG Ambassador, following the announcement of Lindsey Vonn earlier this year. The concept of having a YOG Ambassador was initiated at the inaugral Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010. Raich and Vonn follow in the footsteps of Singapore 2010 YOG Ambassadors Usain Bolt, Yelena Isinbayeva and Michael Phelps.
In addition to encouraging young people worldwide to become more active in sport, both Raich and Vonn will act as mentors and support the young athletes competing in Innsbruck.
Benjamin Raich said: “As a Tyrolean, I have skied these mountains all of my life. It makes me enormously proud to see the first Winter Youth Olympic Games hosted in Innsbruck and witness elite young athletes from all over the world experience the world-class facilities this region has to offer. Developing youth sport is a great passion of mine, and as an Austrian it is privilege for me to be part of Innsbruck 2012. Winter sports are hugely exciting both to participate in and to watch, and I hope that in my role as an Ambassador I can encourage young people to do both!”
Innsbruck 2012 will attract over 1,000 top athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from roughly 70 countries. The athletes will compete in the same seven sports as those on the program for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, but a number of the 63 events will feature for the first time at an Olympic competition. They include: biathlon mixed relay, luge team relay, ski halfpipe, snowboard slopestyle, figure skating mixed team event, ice hockey skills challenge and women’s ski jumping. In addition to mixed gender events, there will also be mixed National Olympic Committee competitions. As well as competing in their sports events, the athletes will participate in a Culture and Education Program (CEP) featuring fun and engaging activities designed to provide guidance on a wide range of topics, including the Olympic values, the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle and preventing sports injuries.
Contributed by IOC