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22 Aug 2010
IOC News

Barbara Kendall on her Youth Olympic Games experience

Discover the blog from Barbara Kendall, olympic medallist in sailing, on her engagement as Athlete Role Model for the Youth Olympic Games.

At first I was a little skeptical about how the culture and education program and Athlete Role Model program would work at the Youth Olympic Games.

After my first visit to the village all skepticism was removed. The athletes I have spoken to are so excited and amazed to be here and have this experience. I admire them as there are so many distractions with all the activities and learnings around, but they have all stated that they will focus on their events first. After they have finished competing they have partaken in all the events that have been available.

I have enjoyed watching the life-long friendships that have developed in some of the mixed nation team events. Particularly the equestrian and triathlon. These athletes pulling together and helping each other to excel. Some of the fun competitive events like the rowing relay have also been so fun to watch and I only wish I was 17 again!!!

As an Athlete Role Model, I have been amazed at how confident these youth athletes are in coming up to you and asking questions and taking photos. It makes you feel like you want to do more as you are appreciated and valued amongst these young people. Everything has been so well organised and the volunteers are the best yet, helpful, they have good English and most of all genuinely happy.

I hope that this will be something the IOC looks at doing in the Olympics!!!

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