A Vonn-derful day at Lillehammer 2016
As if the blue skies, bright sunshine and amazing sport weren’t dazzling enough for the athletes and fans in Lillehammer today, in walks Lindsey Vonn along with Lucy Vonn… her puppy!
Olympic champion in Alpine skiing, Lindsey Vonn has been the Youth Olympic Games’ number one fan since the very first event in Innsbruck 2012, and once again she took time out of her record-smashing World Cup season to make it to Lillehammer 2016 in her role as a YOG Ambassador.
As an Ambassador she is tasked with not only inspiring the young athletes at the Games with her wise words of motivation and rich experiences, but she also reaches her millions of followers around the world with positive messages about sport which she shared today during a live Periscope chat.
“I’m really happy I could be here,” said Vonn about her role, having flown in from Geneva, mid-World Cup competition, for the day. “It’s not an easy trip, but as an athlete we have a unique opportunity to positively impact people. I was inspired when I was nine by the skier Picabo Street. If I’d never met her, I don’t know if I’d have got to this point. If I can impact one of you guys that way, I’ve accomplished something.”
Lindsey started her trip with a meeting with IOC President Thomas Bach at the ice hockey skills challenge competition – an innovation in the sport designed for the Youth Olympics. Along with President Bach, and of course Lucy, Lindsey took a trip backstage to visit the athletes getting ready in the locker room, for a few words of motivation.
After countless “selfies” and autographs, Lindsey spent the afternoon visiting athletes in the Village and testing out some of the educational activities on offer for the young participants, students and spectators visiting the Games.
Lindsey commented: “I really like what the Youth Olympic Games stand for and what they’re doing for the next generation. Just coming up here to see all the kids and how excited they are and how they are taking it very seriously, it’s a stepping stone for them, it’s a place where they can learn and can grow as people. Ultimately it’s a place they can learn to go on to be Olympic champions.”
During a “round table” chat with the athletes, complete with Norwegian waffles to snack on, Lindsey urged the athletes: “This programme here in Lillehammer is great. It’s important to take it home with you. Go back to school and explain to people what you’ve learnt. Share the experience you’re getting.”