Get to know the Athlete Role Models: Rasmus Stjerne
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: Rasmus Stjerne.
How/why did you start your sport?
My dad is the main reason I started curling. He was amongst the first to start curling in Denmark. Since I was a baby, my mum would bring me to the various ice rinks to watch my dad play. At first I would only play around with the other “curling kids”, but eventually we grew fond of the game.
Due to limited ice capacity, I had to wait until I turned 10 years old before I could start. A few months after I started, Denmark had major success in the 1988 Winter Olympics, winning the first medal ever in the Winter Olympics. That success resulted in a boom of new players and that really helped my sport to grow.
What achievements are you most proud of in your sporting career?
Qualifying for the Winter Olympics 2014 was the absolute pinnacle of my career, let alone the hard work and dedication it took to get there. Another great achievement was to win the first men’s gold medal at the 2009 world junior championships for Denmark. At my first senior (over 21) event, we won the silver at the 2010 European Championships. This came out of nowhere and initiated our run for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
What achievements are you most proud of outside your sporting career?
Curling has always taken a lot of my time, but as I am about to get a masters in IT / games, that is very satisfying for me. Having the opportunity for a career after my sports career ends is very important to me, and one day I would like to have my own business.
Favourite moment at the Olympics? A special memory of one of your participations?
The Opening Ceremony is something I will treasure forever. Every time I watch someone march in during a big event, I envy them and recall how great it felt. I still get the chills when I listen to the music from our walk during the Opening Ceremony. It was out of this world peeking up the ramp at the Olympic stadium while so many spectators cheered us on.
©IOC / John HUET
What made you want to participate in the Youth Olympic Games?
I have the chance to inspire and motivate young athletes to achieve their Olympic dream. I have already experienced how much competing in the Winter Olympics has done for me as sportsman, but also as a human being, and I really want to encourage young curlers to do the same.
What do you like most about the Youth Olympic Games concept?
I really like the balance between competition and learning. The fact that it not just focused on one course is a great idea. Having to interact with young athletes and give them even more reason to work hard is so cool.
What are you looking forward to the most in Lillehammer 2016?
I really look forward to meeting all the young curlers and the other ARMs in general. The interaction between people often leads to great new ways of thinking, and just maybe I can bring those concepts into my quest for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
What’s next for you in your career?
Curling is super busy as we try to qualify for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The first Olympic points are awarded at the 2016 World Men’s Curling Championships in Basel, Switzerland, and right now my team and I are doing everything we can to qualify for the worlds.
My master’s degree is starting to see the end, with the initial work on my master’s thesis, which should be handed in sometime during the spring.
What are your hobbies?
Sports in all sorts of ways appeal to me, but I am very fond of golf during the summer when the weather is good and the grass is green. During the autumn and winter, I turn my attention towards American football, which I love to watch on a weekly basis.
With my master’s degree in IT / games I also spend a lot of time gaming on PC and consoles. Even E-sport is something I really enjoy watching.