Get to know the Athlete Role Model: Stéphane Lambiel
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced a list of Athlete Role Models (ARMs) who will support the young athletes going to the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games from 12 to 21 February 2016 in Lillehammer, Norway. They are presented individually through a short interview. Today: Stéphane Lambiel.
Name: Stéphane Lambiel
Sport: Figure Skating
How/why did you start your sport?
I used to watch figure skating competitions on TV as a kid, and I remember being really captivated. My older sister was also a figure skater, and I think that she opened the way for me to try.
What achievements are you most proud of in your sporting career?
Stepping onto an Olympic podium was such a unique moment, and I guess it would be one of the proudest of my career. I had dreamed about it since I was a kid.
What achievements are you most proud of outside your sporting career?
After I retired from competition, I took some time to step back and think about my future. I have founded the Skating School of Switzerland, a training centre where skaters can find all they need to improve and compete at the highest level. I also created, produced and skated in my own show, Ice Legends, which first took place in Geneva in December 2014. It was a fascinating experience that I had the pleasure of sharing with my closest friends. So I’m quite proud that I went for these challenges.
Favourite moment at the Olympics? A special memory of one of your participations?
Carrying the Swiss flag during the Opening Ceremony in Vancouver is also a really special memory. I can still hear the crowd cheering our team on. That was an incredible feeling; I still have goose bumps remembering it.
What made you want to participate in the Youth Olympic Games?
I was honoured to be appointed as an Athlete Role Model during the first Winter YOG in Innsbruck in 2012. As an ARM, I get to share my experience with the young athletes, and it’s really fun. I hope that, through my engagement, I can give back some of what I received from sport.
What do you like most about the Youth Olympic Games concept?
The YOG embody the true spirit of the Olympic Games that athletes should be celebrated and credited for their efforts and performances. The youth movement encourages both tolerance and personal growth. It emphasises the development toward personal excellence, not just medals.
What are you looking forward to the most in Lillehammer 2016?
I look forward to meeting the athletes from all around the world, with different cultures and backgrounds. It’s going to be fun to spend some time with them and share experiences and stories. And of course I also can’t wait to see them all in action!
What’s next for you in your career?
First and foremost, I would like to continue to perform in shows around the world as long as I can. I also plan on further developing my skating school and continuing to take every opportunity I get to help the young athletes.
What are your hobbies?
I love travelling, especially to Portugal, my mother’s country of origin. I like cooking for my friends and family, and when I have the time, going skiing in the Swiss Alps.