Already an Olympic medallist in shooting, 28 year-old Danka Barteková has just added another string to her bow. Following her role as a Young Ambassador at the first-ever Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, and a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games, the Slovakian shooter is, since last week, the current youngest International Olympic Committee (IOC) member.
In her new role, Danka will represent the athletes’ interest at the IOC for the next eight years and promote the values of the Olympic Movement in her country.
After attending her first week of events as an IOC member in Lausanne, Switzerland, during which she voted on the host city for the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018, Danka took the time to tell us her thoughts on, and experience of, the Youth Olympic Games where she served as a Young Ambassador helping the young athletes from her country get the most out of their YOG experience.
What did you love about the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore?
It was the atmosphere that made the YOG special. Everyone obviously wants to perform as best as possible, but following that, I think everyone enjoyed the opportunity to meet new friends and soak up the YOG atmosphere to the fullest. For me, the Culture and Education Programme (CEP) made it even more enjoyable. I remember browsing around the Village and the CEP activity areas with the athletes, and I had so much fun!
Buenos Aires was elected to host the YOG in 2018, and Nanjing will host the YOG next summer. What can athletes expect when they go to the Youth Olympic Games?
The Youth Olympic Games are special in their own way. It will be something that young athletes will never have experienced before – an Olympic competition with new disciplines, mixed teams of athletes from different countries, information via the Culture and Education Programme and above all – lots of fun! The YOG are the best opportunity for young athletes to get in touch with the Olympic values and share the Olympic spirit further once they return home.
Would you have liked to have competed in the Youth Olympic Games?
Definitely! I am sorry shotgun shooting is not part of the Youth Olympic Games, but the Singapore 2010 YOG were amazing and I still have so many great memories in my mind. To be honest, I am very happy I will have the opportunity to go to Buenos Aires in 2018, and I’m looking forward to meeting the next generation of young athletes!
Check out Danka as a Young Ambassador during the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, in 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN1ijz0dMzs