Olympic.org takes a look at what some former Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes are up to by diving into their social media posts.
Middle-distance star Keely Small must have felt on top of the world when she took 800m gold at the YOG Buenos Aires 2018, but recently she settled for simply being at the top of Australia. Posting a photo from the country’s highest peak, the 2,228-metre-high Mount Kosciuszko, the 19-year-old sat atop the shoulders of coach Philo Saunders and proudly claimed: “Highest person in Aus for a hot min.”
Britt Eerland, who was part of the Netherlands’ table tennis team at the YOG Singapore 2010 and the Olympic Games Rio 2016, recently took to social media to post a throwback photo from her early days in the sport.
Buenos Aires 2018 triathlon champion Dylan McCullough shared his joy at competing in the sport again, after a long lay-off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After a good nine months in between triathlon races due to COVID, it was great to get back out there,” he posted. “Enjoyed racing my first Olympic distance race and very happy to finish up second behind a flying [Hayden Wilde] on the run.”
Ten-time canoe slalom world champion Jess Fox recently returned to Australia after spending time in Europe and was faced with 14 days in hotel quarantine due to the country’s coronavirus restrictions. The 26-year-old, who won K1 gold at the YOG Singapore 2010 before winning medals at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, managed to keep herself busy in isolation, however, and kept her followers updated on what she was up to.
“Most days in quarantine have been good,” she posted. “I’ve kept busy with life admin and study, called friends, exercised, read, received lovely deliveries and have felt positive and motivated to make the most of the day.”
Alpine skier Greta Small, who was the Australian flagbearer at the Winter YOG Innsbruck 2012 before competing at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018, recently shared what Olympism means to her with her followers on Instagram. Alongside an image of the Olympic rings in Sochi, she posted: “To me, Olympism is always giving your best to strive for excellence in all aspects of life and goes beyond borders and cultures to connect all people through the shared value and passion for sport!”
Golfer Ssu-Chia Cheng, who won individual silver at the YOG Nanjing 2014, recently marked her 23rd birthday, sharing the celebrations with her followers on Instagram. “I am very happy to have family and friends with me on this birthday,” she posted.
Romanian table tennis star Bernadette Szőcs, who made it to the quarter-finals of both the women’s singles and the mixed team event at the YOG Singapore 2010, recently shared some motivational quotes for her followers on Instagram. “Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow,” she posted. “Results happen over time not overnight. Work hard, stay consistent and be patient!”
YOG tennis champion Daria Gavrilova always provides a healthy dose of dog content on social media, and recently shared more images of her furry friend, Tofu the miniature dachshund. “If I’m not on court or [in the] gym, I bring Tofu with me everywhere,” she posted.
As if being a two-time Olympic medallist, as well as a double silver medallist from the YOG Singapore 2010, wasn’t enough for Pandelela Rinong, the Malaysian diver recently showed off some new artistic talents on Instagram. “How do you handle stress during this pandemic? I did a lot of indoor activities, one of them is acrylic painting,” she posted, alongside images of some of her work.