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08 Sep 2010

Wietse van Alten, Athlete Role Model from the Netherlands, looks back at the first YOG

A blog written by Wietse van Alten, FITA Athelete Role Model from the Netherlands

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) were a very special event for me. I had the opportunity to participate as both an Athlete Role Model (ARM) and as an archery coach for the Netherlands.

Being here as a coach, I am living in the Youth Olympic Village (YOV). And living in the YOV means that I have a chance to see the young athletes on a daily basis. I must admit that in many ways I am surprised at just how professional and focused these young athletes are. They are determined and well prepared for their competition. Sport is certainly the topic of discussion in the dining hall, and creates a bond between athletes from the same country and athletes from around the world. In one word, it is amazing!

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to coach two of these very determined and talented young archers here at the YOG. As a coach, I have been able to support them technically and having competed in two Olympic Games, I am able to share with them my previous experience as an athlete. It was an absolute pleasure to see them compete and to see them do their best. It was also great to see them enjoy every moment of this experience. One of the archers that I coach, Rick van den Oever won a silver medal. Having had the chance to see him compete, from his first qualification event to the YOG gold medal match, has been an incredible experience for both of us. The opportunity to participate in these Youth Olympic Games is a big step for him and will certainly help him prepare to compete in the Olympic Games.

The Culture and Education Programme activities where a success, and my experience as an ARM was also a very positive one. I had the opportunity to speak with many athletes who attended the workshops and activities, and all of them were very positive about their experience, especially those that had the opportunity to participate in the Island Adventure activity.

For me, these Youth Olympic Games were a success in every way possible!

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