As the countdown to the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Buenos Aires 2018 continues, we are highlighting 15 reasons to get excited ahead of the 3rd Summer YOG…
From Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt to Lindsey Vonn and Kjetil Jansrud, each edition of the YOG has benefited from the support of bona fide sporting legends. And the YOG Buenos Aires 2018 will be no different!
Athletes at the 3rd Summer YOG will be inspired by an NBA superstar, a former YOG champion-turned Olympic gold medallist and one of the greatest players to ever pick up a hockey stick!
Hockey legend Luciana Aymar was the first Buenos Aires 2018 Ambassador to be unveiled. The Argentine – whose hugely successful career included two World Cup victories and four Olympic medals – was named as an Ambassador in December 2015, when she hosted a skills clinic in Buenos Aires with 350 budding hockey players from the south of the city.
"I hope that in my role as an Ambassador and by sharing all of my amazing experiences from hockey I will be able to inspire young people, not only in terms of spor,t but also as human beings," said Aymar at the time. "Many of the youngsters coming to Buenos Aires will be starting out in their sports careers – some may go on to become Olympians, whilst others may go on to pursue other careers. Regardless of their future, the Olympic spirit that they will experience here in Buenos Aires will teach them all valuable life lessons.
"I'm sure that each and every athlete lucky enough to participate in the 2018 YOG will embrace this spirit and in doing so provide inspiration to many others in their own unique ways, whichever path they choose."
In July 2017, the IOC then announced that Argentina's 2004 Olympic basketball champion Luis Scola would be joining Aymar as an Ambassador.
To mark the announcement, the NBA veteran, who starred for teams such as the Houston Rockets, Phoenix Suns and Toronto Raptors, joined 300 youngsters at the historic Club Gimnasia y Esgrima Villa del Parque, in downtown Buenos Aires, for a basketball skills clinic and Q&A session.
"I am honoured to be an Ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games, especially in my hometown," he said at the time. "Being here and seeing the excitement from all the kids is just a taste of what is to come. Buenos Aires 2018 are constantly forward thinking to make sure this is an event that appeals to young people and I can't wait to be a part of it. It will really be a special atmosphere here next October."
Most recently, in November 2017, it was announced that star swimmer Chad le Clos would be a YOG Ambassador for the second time at Buenos Aires 2018. The 25-year-old South African, who won five medals at the YOG Singapore 2010 before winning Olympic gold in London in 2012, was also an Ambassador for the 2nd Summer YOG in Nanjing in 2014, and is already looking forward to reprising the role next year.
"The Youth Olympic Games hold a special place in my heart. If it wasn't for the YOG, I wouldn't have achieved this success," he said. "I can't wait to be a part of it again in Buenos Aires."