The British Olympic Association (BOA) is proud to announce that Olympic rowing bronze medallist and BOA Athlete Commission Chair Sarah Winckless has been appointed Chef de Mission for Team GB for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing, China.
From 16-28 August, Winckless will take charge of a team of approximately 60 athletes aged between 14 and 18 years as Nanjing hosts the second summer YOG. Team GB will compete across 20 of the 28 Olympic sports on the programme.
The inaugural Games in Singapore in 2010 launched the careers of four Team GB London 2012 Olympians; Olympic taekwondo Champion Jade Jones, Olympic diving bronze medallist Tom Daley, Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist Sam Oldham and swimmer Ellie Faulkner.
Winckless, a three time Olympian, (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) directed the Team GB Ambition Programme at the London 2012 Olympic Games which involved working with aspiring Olympians and their coaches by providing a practical insight into the unique aspects of the Olympic Games environment.
Commented Team GB Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless:
“I am thrilled to have been given the privilege to lead Team GB at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing this summer.
“Having worked with young athletes through the Team GB Ambition Programme for London 2012 I saw first-hand how important a practical insight into the unique aspects of the Olympic Games environment is.
“The Youth Olympic Games offer our talented young athletes a fantastic platform to gain first-hand experience of competing in an Olympic Games environment along with learning more about Olympic values, the benefits of sport for a healthy lifestyle and the social values sport can deliver.
“I am sure that Nanjing will be instrumental to their development as aspiring Olympians both on and off the field of play.”
Said BOA CEO Bill Sweeney:
“I am delighted that Sarah will lead Team GB to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. As three-time Olympian and our BOA Athlete Chair, Sarah understands the needs of our athletes at all stages of their Olympic journey.
“Her work on the Team GB Ambition Programme for London 2012 gave her an insight into the value of an introduction to the Olympic environment and I think this will prove to be invaluable to our athletes that will compete in Nanjing."
Later this month, Winckless and other National Olympic Committees (NOCs) head to Nanjing for the Chef de Mission meeting. It is hoped all 204 NOCs will take part in the Games.
During the session Winckless will learn how the Games will be run and what progress the Organising Committee has made with their preparation. Venue tours will take place in all the facilities that will host the 28 sports and the Culture and Education Programme (CEP) which is integral to the success of the YOG.
As part of its commitment to develop and nurture future British Olympic talent for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and beyond, Nanjing 2014 represents the fourth out of seven Youth Olympic events that the British Olympic Association will be sending Team GB to since London 2012 Olympic Games.