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23 Aug 2010
IOC News

Jani Tanskanen shares his thoughts on the Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Role Model for Gymnastics, Jani Tanskanen, world champion in horizontal bar, blogs on his experience in the culture and education activities.

I had a wonderful start for the day when I got to meet young local kids in Sports Initiation Programme at Marina Bay Promenade. I told them about my experiences as a top-level athlete and then I taught these children some basic gymnastics moves like roll forward and handstand. To see a huge smile on all over their faces was just priceless! I then stayed for another session with Athlete Role Model for athletics Mr. Wilson Kipketer. As always it was very interesting and inspiring for me to hear a story of a fellow role model. Afterwards we posed together for lot of photos.

Then I headed for a Youth Olympic Village (YOV) where I participated on a “Game Plan” workshop and studied the “Career Corridor” exhibition. I got there early so I had a great lunch in Main Dining hall with the athletes. I met a cyclist from Bolivia who wanted to be a teacher when older and I tried my best to inspire her to pursue that goal in her life besides thriving for excellence in her sport.  Some athletes do not yet have a dream occupation and I reminded them that a solid education will keep more possibilities open for them in the future.
I then headed to Bishan Sports Hall to catch action of gymnastics finals and in between the apparatuses I sneaked to athletics stadium to see my favourite pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson (Sweden) win that competition with 4,30 meters. I had the pleasure to follow her competition with great pole vault legend Sergey Bubka from Ukraine. He really gave me detailed analysis of Angelicas technique and points still to develop. When he entered to follow gymnastics competition I naturally returned the favour and told him about details in gymnastics!

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