International Olympic Committee, Press Release Dec 21, 2011: The International Olympic Committee announced that ice hockey phenomenon Sidney Crosby has become its fifth and final Youth Olympic Games Ambassador for the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, which will take place from 13 to 22 January 2012.
The 24-year-old Canadian joins figure skater Yuna Kim (South Korea), Alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn (USA) and Benjamin Raich (Austria), and freestyle skier Kevin Rolland (France) as Ambassadors for the upcoming Games.
Crosby, who scored the gold medal-winning goal for his country at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, said he was honoured to be appointed as an Ambassador and looked forward to providing guidance to young athletes around the world. The role of the Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors is to inspire and mentor the athletes competing at Innsbruck 2012, while encouraging young people worldwide to become more active in sport.
“It’s important that young athletes have the proper guidance and support in their early years,” Crosby said. “I have always tried to lead by example and be a positive role model for people. I hope my involvement in the first Winter Youth Olympic Games can help inspire the athletes and motivate them to be the best they can be in everything they do, not only during competition.”
Commenting on Crosby’s appointment as a YOG Ambassador, IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “We are delighted that Sidney has joined our all-star line-up of Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors. He is one of the best hockey players of his generation, and his passion, dedication and determination are unmatched. He is also an athlete who understands the importance of living by proper values. Without question, the athletes at Innsbruck 2012 have a great role model in Sidney.”
Innsbruck 2012 will attract over 1,000 top athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from over 65 countries. The athletes will compete in the same seven sports as those on the programme of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, but a number of the 63 events will feature for the first time at an Olympic event. These include ski half pipe, snowboard slopestyle and women’s ski jumping.
In addition to mixed male and female events, there will also be mixed National Olympic Committee competitions.
The athletes will also participate in a Culture and Education Programme (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 the prevention of sports injuries, among others.