With the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing on Saturday, the FEI has launched a dedicated blog to report live from one of the world’s most exciting international sports competitions for young athletes.
The FEI Youth Olympic Games blog will feature news, images, athlete interviews, quotes, competition results, facts and figures, and loads of information in real time. Each of the equestrian athletes will be profiled on a dedicated page listing their sporting achievements and dreams.
The blog will go behind the scenes of the event, from August 16 to 28. There are 30 athletes from 30 nations competing in the Jumping competitions, one of 28 sports at this second edition of the summer Youth Olympic Games, which are held every four years.
Among the athletes, Michael Duffy (IRL) started competing at seven years of age and dreams of becoming world number one. Fan of great Irish hero Eddie Macken, Duffy competed at his first senior Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup in Odense, Denmark, this year and finished fourth in the CSIO3* Grand Prix of Maubeuge in France. He has his eyes firmly set on the future and hopes to represent Ireland at the Olympic Games.
Hong Kong Olympian Samantha Lam is the Equestrian Athlete Role Model at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
“The Youth Olympic Games are a fantastic opportunity for our younger generation of athletes to get a taste for the Olympic Games, meet athletes from different cultures and to really experience the true essence of sport and sportsmanship,” Lam said.
“Equestrian sport will be extra special in Nanjing, simply because our athletes will be competing for medals on borrowed horses, making this already unique sport even more unique. The team format for equestrian at YOG is also very exciting with one rider from every continent forming a team, teaching our young athletes the vital sporting and life skills of working together for a common goal.”
Equestrian is also the only Olympic sport in which men and women compete on equal terms for all the medals. And at the YOG 2014 the gender divide is particularly well balanced with 15 girls and 15 boys registered to compete. The 30 athletes will fight for medals in the Individual Jumping and Team Jumping competitions in the Xinzhuang Equestrian Venue from August 19 to 24.
“The Youth Olympic Games represent an incredible opportunity for the next generation of Olympic equestrian athletes, and Nanjing will be a valuable character-building experience that our athletes will cherish for the rest of their lives,” FEI President Princess Haya said.
“Competing for your country is one of the greatest honours you can have and to do so at such a young age, alongside athletes of all nationalities and within a huge multi-sport event, it’s definitely going to be an unforgettable and life-changing event for all the participants.
“To all the riders, may your experience over the coming days be a stepping stone on the road to a long and enjoyable career in the sport and may your families, friends and supporters enjoy every moment of the journey.”