Vonn an inspiration at Youth Olympic Games One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the Olympic Movement is the pool of incredible athletes who wow the world once every four years on the world stage.
Photo courtesy of YOG - Lindsey Vonn is one of five Youth Olympic Games ambassadors for the Innsbruck 2012 Games.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the Olympic Movement is the pool of incredible athletes who wow the world once every four years on the world stage.
They are giants of their sports, champions, even heroes – especially to the generation of young athletes watching from home, learning from the generation before them.
Through its athlete ambassador and athlete role model program, Innsbruck 2012 is capturing this concept of “learning by example.“
The most decorated alpine skier in U.S. history – Lindsey Vonn – is one of five Youth Olympic Games ambassadors for the Innsbruck 2012 Games.
“I’m not just involved with the Youth Olympic Games to say I’m involved with the Youth Olympic Games,“ said Vonn.“I want to have an impact.“
Vonn, 27, wants to inspire Innsbruck 2012 athletes the same way U.S. alpine skiing legend Picabo Street inspired her.
“Picabo Street was my role model growing up,” said Vonn. “I met her when I was nine years old at an autograph signing. She was really the reason I wanted to be an Olympian, and I hope that I can be like Picabo and motivate and inspire some kids.”
The concept appears to be working.
Reaching the bottom of his first run in men’s giant slalom in Patscherkofel, a wide-eyed Alex Leever, who is from Vonn’s hometown of Vail, Colo., was met by the ski star.
Then, at a question and answer session in Innsbruck, which was moderated by Youth Olympic Games athlete role model and four-time U.S. Olympic ice hockey player Angela Ruggiero, Vonn answered questions from very eager athletes.
The questions ranged from ‘how did you manage your demanding training schedule and school work’ to ‘do you have a pair of lucky undies for competition? ’
Among the athletes was U.S. Youth Olympic alpine skier Julia Mueller-Ristine of Aspen, Colo., who points to Vonn as her role model.
“Oh my gosh, she’s an amazing speaker and athlete, “ said a very excited Mueller-Ristine, who was able to meet and shake hands with her Olympic hero.
“At one point, she was where I am now, and I‘m trying to work my way up in my sport to get where she is today. I think everyone on the U.S. Ski Team is amazing, but Lindsey definitely stands out.”