My story by Eric Mitchell, Olympian and YOG Ambassador
Ever since he was a young boy, Eric Mitchell dreamed of representing his country, Canada, at the Olympic Games. He realised this dream on home soil at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010. Since then, the ski jumper has used his position as an Olympian to be a role model and to spread the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.
This passion took him to the Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016 earlier this year, where he served as a Young Ambassador, and he continued his journey in October at the One Young World Summit held in Ottawa, Canada, where he had the opportunity to share his experiences with more than 1,300 young leaders. Here is his story.
On Tuesday September 27 2016, I set off to the One Young World Summit that was being hosted in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. The One Young World Summit is a gathering of young leaders from every corner of the world, a gathering that was a striking similarity to Rio, Lillehammer, Sochi and Vancouver.
As I settled into the hotel I acquainted myself with my new roommate for the next four days. PJ was a lawyer by trade, but he was at the summit to share his experiences fighting Ebola that was devastating his home of Sierra Leone. I knew right away the calibre of company I was keeping at this conference, and it started to set in what a tremendous honour it was to be here.
Sport is an unbelievable way to bring people together and break the ice, so naturally it was our first event of the summit. Delegates from all over the world laced up for a 5km run, all in support of refugees and other displaced people who were now calling Ottawa home.Becoming an ambassador of the One Young World was an incredible opportunity, and I cannot wait to use this experience as a catalyst to export the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship & Respect to a new and exciting assembly of supporters.Eric Mitchell Young Ambassador
This conference was an opportunity for me to speak with young leaders in the private sector, not for profits and government about the role sport has in creating a more inclusive society. My goal was to share the work I have done with the Canadian Olympic Committee’s #OneTeam initiative to make sport more inclusive for LGBTQ people.
My audience was the many young change-makers who pledged to take the actions necessary to make their world of sport more inclusive to LGBTQ fans, coaches and ultimately athletes. It was the same show of support that was proven at the Youth Olympic Games where the simple act of leading authentically helped prove that the next generation of sportspersons can look beyond who people love and simply share in the common love for sport.
Becoming an ambassador of the One Young World was an incredible opportunity, and I cannot wait to use this experience as a catalyst to export the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship & Respect to a new and exciting assembly of supporters.