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Young athletes at the 2nd Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) are getting hands-on with apps, virtual reality and other cool technology as they learn about important real-world issues while they are in Lillehammer.
As part of the Learn & Share programme that is running alongside the YOG, organisations including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) are working with the IOC to educate athletes in fun and interactive ways.
The IFRC, for example, is using a virtual reality headset to show participants what life is like in a Syrian refugee camp. Athletes can wear the device and see the world through the eyes of one of the millions of people who have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict in their country.
The CIFP, meanwhile, is introducing the concept of sportsmanship to the young athletes through a variety of computer games, including one that encourages them to take a series of selfies that match some of the emotions of fair play.
The IOC’s “Play Fair” booth also features an interactive quiz that aims to raise the athletes’ awareness of the risks related to sports betting and competition manipulation, and provides tips on how to safeguard the integrity of sport and speak out against those involved.
The International Olympic Academy and the International Olympic Truce Centre are jointly running a booth that features a variety of activities on touchscreen monitors that help educate athletes about the Olympic Movement’s history, philosophy, values and ideals as well as the promotion of peace through sport and the Olympic Truce.
These include a 3D tour showing what Olympia would have looked like during the ancient Olympic Games, a variety of interactive quizzes, and videos highlighting some of the famous athletes who have embodied the Olympic values during their own careers.
The use of technology emphasises the innovative nature of the YOG, which aim to inspire young athletes to become good ambassadors and role models, both on and off the field of play.