Today sees the start of the “Meet the Young Ambassadors” series in the YOG News section. Every day for a month, you will be able to discover a new profile of the young ambassadors who will be going to Singapore this summer.
Their role is to promote the YOG in their countries with the support of their National Olympic Committees, and then to accompany their NOC delegation to the Games and introduce the athletes to the Culture and Education Programme of which they had a sneak preview at the Young Ambassadors Seminar in Singapore in March. The Young Ambassadors programme is supported by Worldwide TOP Partner, Acer, who has provided each Young Ambassador with a limited edition laptop enabling them to communicate their activities online and in their respective communities.
Follow them on their journey to the YOG! You can do so by checking the newly launched participants face on the Cube.
Meet Elise! The Young Ambassador from Australia
My name is Elise Rechichi. My friends would describe me as someone who can never sit still, and I am always up for a challenge!
My background in Olympic sport is as an athlete. I won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, in sailing, in the 470 women’s class with my partner Tessa Parkinson. As with any athlete who makes it to an Olympics, we endured a pretty tough ride. In retrospect though, it is the journey that I cherish the most; and as a team, our resilience and determination that I am most proud of.
I love sport, and while I understand that it is certainly is not everything, it is only since Beijing that I have come to appreciate its unique place in life. Even in the most unlikely of circumstances it brings people together, countries together. It also delivers a powerful message – the importance and joy of living an active life. I love both taking part and watching sport, and I cannot imagine my life without it.
I love exploring other cultures (food particularly!), and sport provides us with this opportunity. I realise how lucky I was to compete in an Olympic Games in China - a place so culturally different from Australia. It’s one thing to visit a country as a tourist, but to live there and operate in a completely different environment gives us such a greater level of understanding and appreciation.
I think my role as a Young Ambassador is primarily to share my passion for sport with as many people as possible. I feel that I can deliver this with a great level of authenticity because I live and breathe it every day. Come Games-time, I hope the athletes feel that they can share their journey with me – their joy and their disappointment, and that I can reassure them when often the Olympic environment can feel like a pressure cooker. Most importantly however, at a time when people are becoming more sedentary, if I can deliver the message of the Youth Olympic Games to more young Australians, and inspire them to get outside and play a game, any game, to pick up a bat, or kick a ball, I will be happy.