Advice from Former YOG Athletes to this year's Generation
This week, 66 young triathletes from all across the globe will set foot in Argentina to compete in the most prestigious event in the world for young athletes, the Youth Olympic Games. Triathlon and Mixed Relay will be hosted for only the third edition of the YOG, this year being held in Buenos Aires. This amazing honour to be able to represent one’s nation at such a young age will be an event and experience they will never forget. So, in order to prepare for such an incredible opportunity, we asked former medallists from the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games and the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games to give five pieces of advice to this year’s generation to help them get them ready for this #YOGJourney.
Daniel Hoy (NZL) - 2014 Nanjing Men’s Silver Medallist
1. Enjoy the experience as a whole event not just your race.
2. Mix and mingle with other nations as I’ve kept in contact with a lot of people I met and have been to stay and train with them.
3. Don’t let the size of the event freak you out it’s just another race that you have put the work in for.
4. Pack a pair of earplugs because some nights the village is loud!
5. Take the time to go and support other athletes from your nation after your race and learn about their sport!
Emil Deleuran Hansen (DEN) - 2014 Nanjing Men’s Bronze Medallist
1. Toe the start line with an open mindset, everything can happen and probably will.
2. Remember to make new friends across different nationality and sports.
3. Try everything at the buffet (best to do after the race).
4. Make sure to see as many of the others competitions as you can after your race.
5. Soak it all in and enjoy it. It’s a once in a lifetime experience!
Brittany Dutton (AUS) - 2014 Nanjing Women’s Gold Medallist
1. Enjoy the experience and the village and after the Triathlon, watch as many other events as you can and embrace the amazing opportunity you have earnt. Not many people are lucky enough to get to compete at a Youth Olympic Games and it is something that you will hold onto for a long time.
2. All the training you have done leading up to the race is all you need. You are ready and even if you are feeling a bit sluggish the week of or a couple of days before, don’t let it stress you out. You have done all the work and it’s your time to shine!
3. Stay calm. I think this is the most important thing. Don’t let the nerves get the better of you and have trust in yourself and your coach that you have done everything you need to be the best athlete on the day.
4. Don’t compare yourself to other athletes. Focus on you and you only.
5. If something doesn’t go to plan throughout the race, don’t give up and start stressing, keep fighting right until the end.
Emilie Morier (FRA) - 2014 Nanjing Women’s Bronze Medallist
1. Stay focused until your race.
2. Enjoy the Olympic Village once the race is done.
3. Share moments with other sports and other nations
4. Take the race as an ordinary race, do what you know you can do
5. Live this magical experience that happens once in a lifetime
Aaron Barclay (AUS) - 2010 Singapore Men’s Gold Medallist
1. Know the course well - study it, get out and explore it and go over it when you get there so you know it like the back of your hand
2. Stay focused in the village and keep the small things in your preparation as normal as possible
3. Focus on your race and don’t be distracted by everyone around you
4. Take the time to get to know athletes from other countries and build friendships with athletes from different countries, cultures, sports etc
5. You’ve made it to the world’s most prestigious event for a junior athlete, be proud of yourself, enjoy the journey and just have fun!!
Kevin McDowell (USA) - 2010 Singapore Men’s Silver Medallist
1. SOAK IT ALL UP! My biggest piece of advice is to look around and try to notice everything. Don’t be so focused on your event that you miss any of the experiences available. The Youth Olympic Games absolutely blew me away when I went back in 2010. I have many great memories during those two weeks I was in Singapore, from hanging out with different athletes in the village to exploring Singapore to the competitions themselves. It will go by fast, so really embrace it!
2. IT’S JUST ANOTHER RACE! Treat the competition like any other competition. There will be a lot of extracurricular activities going on around you that could actually cause you to have too much adrenaline. Stick to the basics and race YOUR race. Don’t get caught up into trying something different just because it’s the Youth Olympics. Trust your experience and training because in the end of the day it is just a triathlon where you simply have to swim, bike and run, which you all have done many times.
3. BE CONFIDENT! Use the extra energy and excitement around the event as positive enforcement and motivation! You’ve done all required to get to this competition and there is a reason you are on that start line, to begin with. Believe that you belong here with all the other athletes from around the world.
4. ATTEND OTHER EVENTS! Take advantage of participating in activities/events post competition. Triathlon is lucky to be competing at the beginning of the Games, so there is plenty of time post competitions to truly experience the Games. The Youth Olympic Games is a special event where they provide many opportunities to partake in different activities along with attending other competitions. Gymnastics is one of my favourite sports to watch in the Olympics, so I made that a point to attend the All-Around Final, which was a really cool experience. My teammate Kelly Whitley and I were fortunate to attend a few more events after that and learned a lot about different sports we didn’t know much about before the Games. Attending other events allowed us to get out and learn more about Singapore and the culture too.
5. MAKE NEW FRIENDS! Take time to mix it up with different athletes from different sports and countries. There is a lot of time to be able to meet new people and branch out more than you normally would at competitions as you all are in the same village. I’m still good friends with some of the athletes who were at the Youth Olympic Games with me. I think the best part was talking to athletes from around the world to learn more about their stories of how they got started in their unique sports and how their training and experiences led them to the Games.
Alois Knabl (AUT) - 2010 Singapore Men’s Bronze Medallist
1. First of all, it’s already a great achievement if you made it to the YOG! It’s something you can be proud of and I am sure you are going to have a great time.
2. When I arrived in Singapore for the YOG my goal was of course to have a good race. But I was a bit overwhelmed by how big everything was and how many people of different sports were there. It’s easy to get distracted, always remember how much hard work you have already put in to get there, focus on your race, the big party is after your race
3. Come race day, just think of it as a normal race. There are going to be so many tv Hosters and spectators, which made me a bit nervous. Fortunately, I had a good team around me and I just tried to give it my best, not thinking about all the people watching the race, I just wanted to make Myself and my family proud!
4. no matter how you are going to perform on the big day, always remember that this is only the beginning. You are only +- 18 years old! The YOG are a huge chance, I made 2 medals and they only motivated me to work harder every day!
The youth women’s triathlon race will take place on Sunday, October 7 with the youth men’s race following on Monday, October 8. Then the #TriMixedRelay event will take place on Thursday, October 11. You can follow along with the action on triathlon.org/yog
Related Event: 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games
|Results: Youth Men|