The Athlete Role Models will be in Singapore to mentor the 3,600 young athletes who are expected to attend the Youth Olympic Games. Among other activities, the ARMs will spend time with the athletes and will participate in activities during the Culture and Education Programme, which will focus on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skill development, well-being and healthy lifestyles, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
Athletes at the Youth Olympic Games will be encouraged to engage in conversation with the ARMs, who will attend the competitions, visit the Youth Olympic Village and feature in "Chat with Champions" forums designed to inspire and educate the participants with personal accounts of their own dreams and experiences, and the challenges they have overcome.
Sergey Bubka, an Olympic gold medal-winning pole vaulter and Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games, said he is delighted to be an Athlete Role Model and is impressed by the line-up put together by the International Federations and Athletes' Commission.
"These are not just great athletes the International Federations have chosen, these are also inspirational people. I am sure the young athletes will enjoy being around them, and they will learn a great deal about what it takes to be a top athlete and live by the Olympic values."
The ARM representing Sailing is the legendary windsurfer Michael Gebhardt of the USA. Gebhardt was a bronze medallist at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and a silver medallist in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona in the Lechner Sailboard. He competed at numerous World Championship regattas and major international regattas in the Mistral Sailboard throughout the nineties and finished 11th at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. For the last three years Michael has competed in the RS:X class and is also a highly competitive athlete on the International Kiteboarding circuit.
For more information on the Youth Olympic Games, visit: www.olympic.org/youtholympicgames