Six months to Youth Olympics19 February 2014
It is six months to go to the start of the second summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG), taking place in Nanjing, China and the organisation of the Games and the Australian Youth Olympic Team (AYOT) is progressing as planned.
Of the projected 90 athletes to form the 2014 AYOT, 39 places have already been qualified in the sports of Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Cycling, Equestrian, Judo, Modern Pentathlon, Rowing, Shooting, Swimming, Triathlon and the team sport of women’s Rugby Sevens.
Most recently, Matthew Hauser and Brittany Dutton won the Triathlon Oceania YOG Qualifying race (750m swim; 20km bike; 5km run) and will finally realise their dreams of wearing the green and gold.
“I’m overwhelmed,” Dutton said after the race.
“So to win I couldn’t ask for anything more. It was one of my goals and I’m just so happy to be representing Australia. To finally wear the uniform and the track suit is all I’ve ever wanted; I’m just so happy.”
At the end of the race, Dutton was greeted by London Olympic silver medallist, 2010 YOG gold medallist and 2014 YOG ambassador Jess Fox.
As Fox has demonstrated, the YOG has proved to be a valuable pathway to the Olympic Games for Australian athletes. The Olympic silver medallist competed in London with 2010 AYOT members Liz Parnov (Athletics) and Damien Hooper (Boxing).
At the Sochi Winter Games, Australian teenagers and now Olympians, Greta Small (Alpine skiing), Alex Ferlazzo (Luge) and Lucy Glanville (Biathlon) were all members of the 2012 AYOT at the winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
“The Innsbruck experience was huge,” said Ferlazzo, who finished 37th in Luge at the 2014 Olympic Games and 19th at the YOG.
“It really inspired me to keep going in Luge and go to another Olympics. Once you go to one, you want to go to another.”
Chef de Mission of the 2014 Australian Youth Olympic Team, Susie O’Neill is pleased with the status of the Team to date.
“Everything is proceeding well and preparations will increase after the Sochi finish,” the multiple Olympic medallist said.
Earlier this week in Nanjing, Executive President Yang Weize, of the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee (NYOGOC) spoke about the new exciting sports added to the programme.
“The International Olympic Committee, NYOGOC and the International Federations are working together to add golf and rugby into the Games,” he said.
“In addition we will also showcase demonstration sports such as roller skating, skateboarding, sport climbing, and wushu.”
The second Youth Olympic Games takes place from 16 – 28 August 2014 in Nanjing, China.