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25 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

The YAO Factor!

Heads turned and crowds gathered at the Youth Olympic Games today with the arrival of global basketball star Yao Ming who is in town for two days to take in some of the exciting competition and meet with the athletes at Nanjing 2014.

First stop on his visit was straight to the Youth Olympic Village to meet with the athletes - on the basketball court of course!  Along with Russian basketball player Illona Korstin, who is here in Nanjing to also mentor the young athletes, the pair held a skills session with a quick shoot-out to finish.

The YOG is also about learning new skills, so Yao took the opportunity to join the healthy cooking workshop and help make a nutritious lunch for the athletes before stopping by the digital centre for a fun picture to share on the #youtholympics social media.

Yao gave some good advice to the athletes, “Our journey never ends. We have many years ahead of us and we can learn from these experiences. Youth brings possibility, the possibility of opportunities, and that is why these Youth Olympic Games are important, not only to educate about competition, but to feel the Games, to feel the (Olympic) spirit.

On being an Ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games, he said “I feel honored and lucky to be chosen to be that one guy. I took a walk in the Village today and I saw so many young athletes taking pictures, learning lessons in the ‘World Culture Village’. Even with my experience, I still felt like a child when I see all the things we can learn here.”

Tomorrow Yao takes on more of the exciting competition at the Youth Olympic Games. Stay tuned on for the latest news.

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