This week, I travelled to Amsterdam to talk about my experiences as an athlete, coach and Young Ambassador at the 8th World Conference on Sport, Culture and Education. It was an event I was excited to be involved in because I truly believe education, passion and hard work are essential to the success of a young athlete.
It’s a sentiment I tried to impart on the Czech Junior Team in my role as a Young Ambassador for the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012, that and, of course, the meaning of the Olympic values and how to live by them in everyday life. My second objective was to share my experiences with Czech school pupils, hoping that one day some talented hard working kid out there will get to feel the “Olympic spirit”.
The first time I felt the “Olympic spirit” was during the XXI Olympic Winter Games held in Vancouver. As a child I had watched all the Olympic Games on TV and dreamed to participate one day. After 17 years of hard work, my dream came true! I LIVED Vancouver to its fullest. I met new friends and Olympic legends who I had seen on TV. I left Vancouver with another dream… I hoped my adventure with the Olympic Movement would not stop now that the Games were over.
Thankfully it was just the start. At the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, I witnessed the faces of athletes from my country change during the Games. They left motivated for the next Games and full of great memories, just like I did in Vancouver, only two years ago, prior to their experience, and I felt I had done what was expected of me as a Young Ambassador.
In January 2013, I will attend the AISTS Master of Advanced Studies in Sports Administration and Technology in Lausanne. I realised that having had the chance to work with and for the Olympic Movement, I now have a goal: to be part of the Olympic family, not only as an athlete, but also as a key player.
By Kamila Hájková