Articles & Publications

YOA 2023 voices on Olympics.com

News
August 12, 2023
-

YOA 2023 voices on Olympics.com

International Youth Day 2023: How Young Olympic Ambassadors aim to promote Olympic values through education

Young Olympic Ambassadors from around the world came together with the goal to make a better world through physical education and the sharing of Olympic values.

Young Olympic Ambassadors at the 63rd International Session of the International Olympic Academy

(International Olympic Academy)

Whether it’s 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci scoring a first ever perfect 10 in Olympic gymnastics, 15-year-old figure skater Tara Lipinski landing a perfect triple-lutz/double-toe-loop combination at Nagano 1998, or legendary middle-distance runner Hicham El Guerrouj sharing his knowledge with the next generation as an Athlete Role Model at the Youth Olympic Games, one thing is certain - youth can change the world.

Driven by the values of Olympism, young athletes and sport leaders are creating positive change through sport in their communities and beyond.

On 12 August, Olympics.com joins the global community in celebrating International Youth Day by shining a spotlight on several Young Olympic Ambassadors who are trying to make the world a better place with the help of the International Olympic Academy (IOA).

Young Olympic Ambassadors on sharing Olympic values: We want to educate the rest of the world

One iconic location, tens of youth leaders

Almost 150 young leaders from National Olympic Academies and Committees around the world gathered at the site of the ancient Olympic Games from 11-22 June for the 63rd International Session of the International Olympic Academy for Young Olympic Ambassadors.

Participants took part in workshops and discussions to learn about Olympic values and how to help spread them when they returned to their respective countries.

"The International Olympic Academy is really diverse. It has brought together people from all across the world and we are learning about the Olympic Movement, and what it takes to live the Olympic values in our everyday lives," Marielle Thompson, Olympic ski crosschampion from Canada, told Olympics.com.

"It’s been really special interacting with so many people from around the world and learning about all their different experiences, in sport as well as their cultures," she added. "As an Olympian, I didn’t really know a lot of these things we’ve learned here so I think I’m living it with a much more broad knowledge of the Olympics and of the Olympic movement."

Spreading the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect is a key objective for the Youth Olympic Ambassadors.

(International Olympic Academy)

The plan to establish the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, the site of the Ancient Olympic Games, was born in 1938. In 1961, the IOA was officially inaugurated with the goal to study and promote Olympism and its values in global society.

Multiple education events were held over the following decades, bringing together a wide variety of participants, including Olympic medallists, members of National Olympic Academies, educators, university students and sports journalists.

The IOA strives to be an international forum where people of different backgrounds feel free to express and exchange their ideas.

That was certainly the case for the Youth Olympic Ambassadors during their visit to Ancient Olympia.

"The International Olympic Academy is a big institution, a global institution where people literally come from all over the world to share knowledge, share values, share experiences with each other and try to live together in the spirit of the Olympism," said Danish footballer Jeppe Idskou.

"Interacting with many people from different sports through the International Olympic programme has been overwhelming in every positive sense of the word. Each time you go to a room you want to get out again and experience something and you never know what you’re going to get, but you know it’s going to be amazing. You know it’s going to be something that you learn, something new every time you step out."

Physical education and Olympic values education were at the centre of the discussions among Youth Olympic Ambassadors with nine guest speakers also offering their insights.

"There are so many people from around the world, 130 people from so many different nations, that have the same view on wanting the Olympic Movement to be something the whole world experiences," Jessica Derelle, a rugby player from Barbados, told Olympics.com. "A lot of times you hear people saying that a lot of people don’t know the Olympics, they don’t know about the Olympic values, but there are so many people here that seem to want to educate the rest of the world about it."

Art, literature and poetry workshops were on the agenda for the 63rd International Session of the International Olympic Academy for Young Olympic Ambassadors.

(International Olympic Academy)

Sharing stories, spreading joy

Serious lectures are not the only things on the agenda when so much youth energy comes together in a single location.

Ancient Olympia came to life over the 10-day event as the young leaders danced, wrote fiction stories and poetry, and even competed in sports against Olympians.

"I had lectures from experts and also professors," Ye Xiaosong, a represenative of the Chinese Olympic Committee, told Olympics.com. "I had wonderful conversations with peers from all around the world and I also challenged myself a little bit to try different kinds of sports with the champions of the Olympic Games. That’s a really excellent, once-in-a-lifetime experience for me."

Simon Kim of the Korean Olympic Committee agreed: "People come here with a lot of diverse backgrounds and we learn about what the Olympism value is, not just in lectures, but by doing a lot of activities, like sport activities or art activities. A bunch of people can share their networks, and this is a great playground we are all at."

Energised by the wide variety of workshops and activities at the session, the Youth Olympic Ambassadors returned home with the objective to share the Olympic spirit and values with their communities and national sports associations.

"As a Young Olympic Ambassador, I got a responsibility to promote Olympism through all means possible to people of all ages from different continents, to anyone who’s willing to listen, to all humanity," Eugenia Mandeya of the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association told Olympics.com. "I’ve got a responsibility to reach out to them with the Olympic values."

Like the voices of the other 129 participants, Mandeya's is a voice of youth that rings out loud and clear.

Article Author(s)

Related Posts

 Promoting of Olympic values in China
News
October 28, 2023
Promoting of Olympic values in China

The signing ceremony occurred at the Chinese Embassy in Athens on October 28th, in the presence of the Ambassador of China to Greece, Junzheng Xiao.

IOA and the Greek Ministry of Education and Sport join forces
News
October 11, 2023
IOA and the Greek Ministry of Education and Sport join forces

Close cooperation between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Ministry of Education and Sport is essential for promoting sports and education.

Articles & Publications

News
August 12, 2023
-

Article Author(s)

Articles & Publications

News
August 12, 2023
-

Article Author(s)