Victoria Teen Wins "The Best of Us Challenge"

Online video challenges from globally recognized Olympians have been viewed over 4 million times by people in more than 200 countries, but only one person was lucky enough to win a trip for two to Singapore for the Youth Olympic Games this August.

Jeremy Shew, a 16 year old from Victoria, B.C. won the prize after being randomly selected from among those who submitted videos to “The Best of Us Challenge,” part of an initiative led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to engage young people in the Olympic Games by giving them a chance to actually compete with Olympic athletes in an online forum.

Created in collaboration with YouTube, The Best of Us Challenge features videos of Olympic athletes from around the world performing challenges that the public is encouraged to try and beat.

Shew entered a video showing him beating Natalie Cook, a beach volleyball player from Australia, at juggling three balls while balancing on a ball. “I saw it as something that was going to be fun,” Shew said of challenging Cook. “I used to juggle when I was younger so it seemed like a good challenge to try.”

Asked how he felt when he learnt he had won a trip to Singapore, Shew said he was at a loss for words. “I was ecstatic but speechless. I didn’t know what to say,” Shew continued. “It’s a new place, a new experience for me, and I am really looking forward to it.”

The athletes taking part are as varied as the challenges themselves, with participants ranging from Vancouver 2010 gold medallist Lindsey Vonn and Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal to Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors Michael Phelps and Yelena Isinbayeva. Challenges include picking up as many tennis balls as possible in 30 seconds to seeing how far you can walk on your hands.