March 17, 2014 (ISN) – Sochi Winter Olympics and Rugby Canada star Heather Moyse is the latest high-profile athlete to be appointed an IOC Athlete Role Model ahead of the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.
The two-time Olympic bobsled gold medallist is one of the biggest stars in Women’s Rugby, exciting sports fans across the globe in Rugby Canada colours with her exceptional speed and skill in both Sevens and Fifteens. Off the field Moyse is an inspirational role model for thousands of young athletes as an ambassador for the International Rugby Board’s Keep Rugby Clean Anti-Doping education programme.
In Nanjing Heather will play a key role in supporting, mentoring and offering advice to many of the 3,800 young athletes between the ages of 15-18 that will be participating at the Games. Fans around the world will also be able to get involved by watching the Games online and through social media live chats with the Athlete Role Models.
Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic debut at Nanjing, ahead of the Rio 2016 Games. Olympic inclusion has played a massive role in attracting new participants and there are an unprecedented 6.6 million men, women and children now playing the sport across all continents. In stadia and in conversation, the sport continues to reach out, engage and inspire to young people to participate and have fun.
Moyse hopes that she can inspire the next generation of athletes to participate and share the social values of sport: “I am honoured and excited to be selected as an Athlete Role Model at what is such an exciting time for Rugby and the Olympic movement. Rugby shares the same values as the Olympic movement and a mission to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and to have fun.”
“The experiences and the values that our young players learn in Nanjing will stretch beyond the field of play. They will shape the character of the men and women that these players will become. They will learn to compete in the spirit of fair play, to respect their opponents and appreciate the importance of playing on an even playing field.”
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset added: “We are excited that Heather has accepted the IOC and IRB invitation to become an Athlete Role Model. She is an exceptional athlete and an inspirational role model whose medal-winning exploits on the world stage in Rugby, Bobsled and Track Cycling have not only excited and inspired, but have been achieved while living and championing Rugby’s character building values.
“I am sure that the Youth Olympic Games will be a hit with our players and fans attending the Games and I am looking forward to experiencing what promises to be an exceptional occasion in Nanjing.”
Claudia Bokel, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and fencing Olympic silver medallist said: “The Athlete Role Model programme is a really unique element of the Youth Olympic Games. The ARMs have so much valuable information to pass on to the younger generation. They will really inspire and empower the athletes long after the Games conclude to not only be great ‘Youth Olympians’, but to share the skills and values learnt at the YOG with their communities and peers.”