The Youth Olympic Games is the pinnacle sporting event for any junior athlete and today 42 young stars have been officially selected to represent Team GB at Buenos Aires 2018.
The Games, which run from the 6th – 18th October, will see Team GB compete in 17 of the 32 sports on the programme across 12 days of competition.
The team consists of athletes aged between 14 and 18 years old, with the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) playing a crucial role in the development of young athletes from the United Kingdom and across the world.
The Youth Olympic Games provides crucial multi-sport experience for aspiring Olympians and Team GB’s class of 2018 will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Tom Daley, Jade Jones and Duncan Scott who all went on to win medals at an Olympic Games having first competed at a YOG.
Buenos Aires 2018 is expected to welcome just under 4,000 of the world’s best young athletes from 206 nations for the third edition of the Games following Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014.
The Games will also make history through its commitment to gender equality by becoming the first Olympic event to host the same number of male and female athletes with 1,999 of each set to compete in Argentina.
On the programme for Buenos Aires 2018 are two of the new sports destined for Tokyo 2020, in sport climbing and karate, as well as a host of other new sports in hockey fives, beach handball, breakdancing, futsal and roller speed skating.
Joining the athletes in Argentina will be 62 Athlete Role Models (ARMs) whose presence as Olympians at the Games will be to support, advise and inspire the young athletes.
Double Olympic taekwondo champion and Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic champion Jade Jones will feature as one of two ARMs from the UK with four-time Olympian and Rio 2016 gold medallist Helen Richardson-Walsh joining Jade in Argentina.
Mahdi Choudhury, Team GB’s Chef de Mission for Buenos Aires 2018 said: “Being selected to Team GB for a Youth Olympic Games is a fantastic achievement and our 42 young athletes should be hugely proud to be heading out to Argentina next month.
“Buenos Aires 2018 will offer a fantastic opportunity for our team to experience a multi-sport event for the first time and I’m sure it will act as a great springboard for their own senior Olympic dreams.
“Youth Olympic Games such as Buenos Aires offer the chance for young athletes to experience life in an Olympic Village, mix with competitors from different sports and nationalities, and are given the chance to grow as individuals as well as athletes.
“These events have helped shape the careers of Team GB Olympic stars such as Jade Jones and Tom Daley and we hope the same will be said for this group of young stars.”
Islay Watson, windsurfing, said: “It’s going to be an amazing experience and will be totally different to anything else I’ve done and I’m really looking forward to it. The Youth Olympics only comes round once every four years so to get picked to go is a real honour.
“It’s been a pretty mad year for me – I’ve done so many events but somehow everything has fallen into place, and the Youth Olympics is the icing on the cake. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to round off the year.
“It’s going to be a much bigger event than anything I’ve ever done before. Because I won the Youth World Championships this year I think I will have a bit of a target on my back, but it’s going to totally depend on the conditions. It’s hard to call, it could be anyone’s win.”
Chris Grimley, badminton, said: “I’ve been trying to qualify for a while so to finally do it and be selected is a big relief and great news. It’ll be the biggest event I’ve ever competed at and I’m looking forward to challenging myself against the best players in the world. It’ll be tough but a great experience.
“It’s every athlete’s dream to compete for Team GB at an Olympic event and I’m really proud that I’ll be able to do that in Argentina. I’m looking forward to competing but also hoping to build my confidence to try and one day qualify for the senior Olympics.”
Team GB at Buenos Aires 2018: Selected Athletes
Alyssia Tromans-Ansell, aged 17, from Cannock, Staffordshire
Daniel Thompson, aged 16, from Wrexham, Wales
Chris Grimley, aged 18, from Glasgow, Scotland
Grace King, aged 18, from Derby, Derbyshire
Javier Bello, aged 18, from Isleworth, Middlesex
Joaquin Bello, aged 18, from Isleworth, Middlesex
Ivan Price, aged 18, from Leeds, Yorkshire
Hassan Azim, aged 17, from Slough, Berkshire
Karol Itauma, aged 17, from Chatham, Kent
Caroline Dubois, aged 17, from Chelsea London
Ross Cullen, aged 17, from Preston, Lancashire
Elissa Bradford, aged 17, from Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Cycling: Combined (Road and Mountain Bike)
Sean Flynn, aged 18, from Edinburgh, Scotland
Harry Birchill, aged 17, from Newton Abbot, Devon
Harriet Harnden, aged 17, from Malvern, Worcestershire
Anna McGorum, aged 17, from Peebles, Scotland
Antony Harding, aged 18, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire
Maria Papworth, aged 16, from Coulsdon, Surrey
Jack Whitaker, aged 16, from Whatton, Nottinghamshire
Joe Pagdin, aged 16, from Sheffield, Yorkshire
Lily Humphreys, aged 16, from Sudbury, Suffolk
Clyde Gembickas, aged 18, from Bromley, Kent
Sophia Imrie-Gale, aged 14, from Petts Wood, Kent
Adam Tobin, aged 17, from Bideford, Devon
Amelie Morgan, aged 15, from Portishead, Somerset
Andrew Stamp, aged 16, from Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Jessica Clarke, aged 16, from Birmingham, West Midlands
Charlotte Hope, aged 17, from Holland-on-sea, Essex
Lauren Salisbury, aged 16, from Romford, Essex
Toby Price, aged 17, from York, Yorkshire
Annabel Denton, aged 15, from Plymouth, Devon
Michael Dalton, aged 18, from Teddington, Middlesex
Theo Darlow, aged 18, from Thames Ditton, Surrey
Georgina Robinson Ranger, aged 18, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
Islay Watson, aged 17, from Aviemore, Scotland
Finn Hawkins, aged 15, from St Austell, Cornwall
James Miller, aged 18, from Epsom, Surrey
Sharissa Gannaway, aged 15, from Southampton, Hampshire
Aaliyah Powell, aged 15, from Huddersfield, Yorkshire
Mason Yarrow, aged 17, from Doncaster, Yorkshire
Calum Young, aged 17, from Glasgow, Scotland
Libby Coleman, aged 17, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire
Ellie Pryor, aged 16, from Aberdare, Wales