The International Olympic Committee (IOC) hasÂ announced its latest Ambassadors to support the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016Â (YOG). Snowboard slopestyler Silje Norendal and New York Rangers ice hockey player Mats Zuccarello will join fellow Ambassadors Lindsey Vonn (USA, Alpine skiing) and Kjetil Jansud (NOR, Alpine skiing) in inspiring athletes and young fans to get active and be part of the second edition of the Winter YOG taking place in February 2016. …Â
The announcement took place in Oslo, which will host the half-pipe competitions during the Games, at the Wang Sports Academy. Silje and Mats were joined by fellow Ambassador Kjetil Jansrud to give local pupils the chance to ask questions about the Youth Olympic Games.
Olympian and three-time X Games champion Silje Norendal is deemed a pioneer of snowboard slopestyle â€“ the high-octane discipline which appeared on the Olympic programme at the inaugural Winter YOG in Innsbruck 2012 followed by the Sochi 2014 Winter Games â€“ and will offer her extensive advice and experience to young athletes and YOG fans.
Silje commented, â€œI canâ€™t wait to get started as an Ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games in my home nation and tell the world about this amazing event. I love my sport and was so happy to see it appear at Innsbruck 2012 (the first edition of the Winter YOG). I know that Lillehammer will be even more awesome!â€
New York Rangers ice hockey player Mats Zuccarello has been described as a magician on the ice, and has a wealth of Olympic experience from both Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014 that he can offer to the young athletes. Mats said â€œWe have to get kids active and understanding how fun sport can be. I have been so lucky in my career on both sides of the Atlantic, and I hope to share some of my experiences with the YOG fans and athletes. I am very proud to see how the Norwegians have got behind this event; the Olympic spirit will have a great impact not only in Lillehammer, but across the nation.â€
The IOC chooses Ambassadors for each edition of the Youth Olympic Games. Sporting legends such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Yao Ming, Yuna Kim and Yelena Isinbaeva, to name a few, have supported this campaign, which is shared with the 50 million fans the IOC has on its social media channels.Â