With fewer than 300 days to go until golf makes its Youth Olympic Games (YOG) debut at Nanjing 2014, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced Michelle Wie as a YOG Ambassador.
The American golfer, who was the youngest ever player to qualify for a USGA (United States Golf Association) tournament, aged just 10 years old, will share her advice and experience with the first generation of YOG golfers, while inspiring young people around the world to get involved in sport and embrace the Olympic values.
Michelle, 24, who has achieved two LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) career victories, said about her nomination as a YOG Ambassador: “I feel so honoured to be part of the Youth Olympic Games. I’m hoping to teach young people to have fun with their game, to be competitive, to really want something and to realise the importance of having a dream.”
The golfing prodigy added: “I think it’s really important to inspire young people to take up sport; it’s important to be active and be outdoors. I remember my childhood, playing different sports and rarely being indoors.”
Golf will feature on the sports programme for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games ahead of its return to the Olympic Games, in Rio in 2016, after more than a century. Michelle was a key member of the delegation that travelled to the IOC Session in Copenhagen in 2009 to successfully bid for the re-inclusion of golf.
Speaking about her own aspirations to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the Stanford graduate said: “I went to the London Olympic Games last year and that really got me inspired. It got me motivated and I’m going to do everything I can. It’s one of my biggest focuses, making the American team for Rio.”
The second edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games will be held from 16 to 28 August 2014 in Nanjing, China. The programme will feature 28 sports, as well as unique disciplines such as 3-on-3 basketball and 5-a-side hockey, in addition to mixed gender and mixed National Olympic Committee (NOC) events.