Windsurfing YOG medallist Kieran Martin sails to victory
The Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 may have been over three years ago, but for young British windsurfer Kieran Martin, the lessons learned in those 12 exciting days helped mould him into the athlete he is today, not only on the field of play, but also off it.
Now, with a successful summer behind him in which he was crowned RS:X ISAF Youth World Sailing Champion, Kieran is looking forward to hitting the books at university and preparing for Rio 2016.
What did you learn at the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010?
The main thing I learnt was how to be around different people from all around the world, as to some it could feel very overwhelming. The main idea was to speak with and get to know as many people as possible. It is great getting to know people and it makes everything feel a lot easier as you have people to hang out with.
Do you feel the YOG has helped you prepare for other international competitions?
It has helped more off the water rather than on it. It helped with being much more independent as you have no parents there; you have to do most things yourself. It also helped a lot with media as it was being thrown in at the deep end - from not really doing anything to do with media to cameras and interviews every day. You learn to have sentences for everything, which helps.
Are you aiming for Rio 2016?
That would be a dream goal yes, but I think the more realistic target would be 2020 as I will be dealing with university and sailing. But after that, I will be able to just focus on one thing, which would make life much easier.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those young athletes hoping to compete in the Youth Olympic Games?
It is probably the best thing I have been to, everything about it was amazing. Just soak up everything there because it would be some amazing memories! Work your hardest to go to one of the best things you will experience.