Two Canadian Olympians Named Role Models for Winter Youth Olympic Games

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) congratulates speed skater Jeremy Wotherspoon and hockey player Jennifer Botterill on their nominations by their respective sports as Athlete Role Models at the first Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck this winter.

“I’m looking forward to the adventure of something new, not just for me, but for everyone since these are the first Winter Youth Olympic Games. Innsbruck is especially interesting to me, since it is the site of my first ever World Cup race,” said Wotherspoon – 1998 Olympic silver medallist and four-time World Sprint Champion. “We’ll be there to share our experiences and give them advice about how to handle competition and life skills beyond being an athlete.”

“It is a huge honour and something I am going to take a lot of pride in,” said Botterill, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and a 1998 silver medallist. “I’m looking forward to sharing in the excitement of these Games. An event of this magnitude, all the athletes will be looking forward to it and there’s a lot of potential to help them enjoy the experience.”

The Athlete Role Model (ARM) programme allows former champions to interact with young athletes and to share their experiences about sport preparation, career management and many other areas. The detailed programme for each ARM will be defined in collaboration between the IOC, the Innsbruck 2012 Organizing Committee and the individual International Sport Federations.

Canada was also represented by two distinguished Olympians at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in 2010. Two-time medallist Beckie Scott (Cross-country skiing) and five-time Olympian and 1984 Olympic silver medallist Charmaine Crooks (Athletics) were in Singapore on behalf of the International Olympic Committee and acted as Athlete Role Models.

Scott will take her role one step further, acting as the Chef de Mission for the Canadian Team in Innsbruck.

The inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place from January 13 – 22, 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria, site of the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games.