At just 17 years old, Adam Lamhamedi had already made history. At the first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012, the young Moroccan alpine skier became the first-ever African to win a medal at a winter Olympic event when he walked away with a gold in the men’s Super G.
The young champion has not looked back since, and last night his dream of participating at the Olympic Games finally became a reality as he marched proudly into the Fisht Olympic Stadium as the flag-bearer representing his country.
Young Reporter Sonali Prasad caught up with the athlete - whose father is Moroccan and his mother Canadian – just before he stepped out into the Stadium.
“I feel it in my fingers and toes,” he told us right before marching in. “This is so surreal. I hope I don’t get too emotional on stage.”
When he was selected to represent Morocco at the YOG in Innsbruck, Adam had a lot to prove.
“I wanted to prove that Moroccans can ski well, and I proved it [in Innsbruck]. This represents that in life you can do everything: never give up. And now I have made it to the big stage in Sochi.”
Proud of being a “YOGgie”, Adam feels that he owes a lot to the Games in Innsbruck.
“The Youth Olympic Games are not a mini-Olympics. They teach you so much: to be a respectful athlete, to play fair and to dream big. I learnt a lot in Innsbruck, and I am lucky that I got to be a part of the first one.”
“I hope more young people can dream of being athletes in my country now and aim at competing in the Youth Olympic Games.”
The YOG graduate is certainly one to watch out for, but Adam himself will be cheering the other YOGgies when he’s not competing.
“I want them to win wherever they are competing. I am looking to watch Sara Takanashi (JPN) in action in the women’s ski jump. She performed brilliantly in Innsbruck.”
Young Reporter Sonali Prasad