Introducing Athlete Role Models Nicola Thost and Eve Muirhead
Aged just 21, Scottish curler Eve Muirhead shares common ground with the young athletes competing at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in that she too is at the start of her sports career. And what a start it’s been. Since first appearing on the world curling circuit in 2007, she has racked up four world junior championship titles and captained Great Britain at the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010 – experience she hopes to share with the young athletes in Innsbruck.
“It feels great to be an ARM for the YOG in Innsbruck,” Eve said. “I’m really looking forward to meeting all the athletes, chatting to them and getting to know their goals and expectations for the Games. I will help inspire them and motivate then, and give them as much of my knowledge as possible, having already been at the Olympic Games as a young athlete.”
At the other end of the spectrum, legendary German snowboarder Nicola Thost will not only bring a wealth of experience to the YOG, but also an alternative perspective on life after competition as a retired professional sportsperson.
During her esteemed career, Nicola made history when she was crowned the first-ever snowboard halfpipe Olympic champion when the event made its debut at the 1998 Winter Games in Japan. Forward 13 years and snowboard slopestyle is poised to make its debut at an Olympic event at Innsbruck 2012. “The YOG is going to be a melting pot of extraordinary talents and offers big potential for the future of snowboarding,” she said.
As an idol for so many young snowboarders and athletes alike, the down-to-earth rider also had some words of advice: “If you love what you do, success will be with you when it’s time for it! The most important thing is not to win but take part.”
A sentiment echoed by Eve, who said: “Never, never give up. If you want something bad enough anything is possible to achieve.”