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Q&A with Official Team GB 2014 Ambassador, Robin Cousins

Robin Cousins

June 24, 2013 19:00 pm

The BOA announced Lake Placid 1980 Olympic figure skating gold medallist Robin Cousins as an official Team GB 2014 Ambassador in June, and now gives you an insight into what his role involves.....

How did the ambassador role come about?

I’d previously been involved with the Ambassador Programme for London 2012 and the BOA contacted me again to discuss Sochi.

London was fantastic, I had a really good time and I was very fortunate to be working with a great squad in the synchronised swimming team so this was an easy ‘yes’ for me to say.

Your role was only announced recently, have you had much time to speak to any athletes on the long list?

Not yet, but I am going down to the Athletes’ Conference and Media Summit at the University of Bath in August to meet up with the squads and do a keynote speech for them during the weekend.

Plus, it’s a chance to meet the newer members from new sports, which is great because we are succeeding in those sports that are coming into the Games.

And the brilliant thing is that, like figure skating, they’re judged, not governed by people with stopwatches. So I should be able to impart some knowledge and know what judges are looking for.

What have you got planned for the next nine months in your role?

At this point my role is advisory but I know the BOA is looking to tailor it specifically to people’s requests.

Sometimes it’s just a different voice that’s needed. Saying the same thing as maybe the coaches were but saying it in a different way gives it a different meaning for athletes – we all know that after a while you, subliminally, stop listening to the people we are working with every day.

It’s a bit of a ‘wait and see’ situation but sometimes that is the most exciting way things come around – if it’s contrived and set-up purposefully then sometimes it doesn’t have the impact you’re looking for.

What can yourself and fellow individual gold medallist Amy Williams bring to Team GB as official ambassadors?

There are a lot of people that come to these championships and events who have never had that Olympic experience before, both athletes and support staff.

But when you’ve been there and done it, which Amy and I have, we have an insight.

Even the smallest piece of information that lets people be as informed as possible so they never have that ‘if only I’d have known this, I could’ve done that’ moment, is priceless.

You will be commentating for the BBC alongside your role with the BOA; how will the roles complement each other?

It will be nice to be able to wear both hats and have information that I may be able to impart through commentary, certainly of skating at least.

I’ll know the British squad but I’ve also choreographed for someone that will hopefully make the American team too.

And the wonderful thing about Sochi is that venues are close together so I can work around my BBC schedule. Moving around and having access to venues is not going to be quite as difficult as at other Games.