For The Record

Issue 7 2013


Frank Fredericks Interview

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As a man used to speed, Namibian sprinter and four-time Olympic silver medallist Frank Fredericks is eager to get to work on the third Youth Olympic Games, which will be hosted by Buenos Aires in 2018, and to step into his role as Chairman of the team overseeing and advising on the delivery of the Games.

We caught up with the two-time world champion, who is a member and former Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, to ask him about his latest challenge.

Question. What do the Youth Olympic Games mean to you?

Answer. The YOG is a good opportunity for young athletes to experience the joys and pressures of major international competitions, while having an opportunity to engage in meaningful cultural and educational activities with like-minded young people from across the world.

Q. You were in Singapore and Innsbruck as an Athlete Role Model. Can you tell us a bit about your role there?

A. My role as an Athlete Role Model at the YOG was to mentor, inspire and encourage young athletes to live by the Olympic values. We did this under the umbrella of the Culture and Education Programme. We also engaged in insightful discussions with the young athletes where we gave accounts of our personal athletic careers, experiences and challenges that we had to overcome.

Q. Do you have a memory from the Youth Olympic Games that really stands out?

A. My favourite YOG memory was seeing so many athletes from different backgrounds come together to compete against each other, but also to make lasting friendships. My second favourite, or rather the funniest YOG memory was when I was spontaneously asked to model red sports trousers at the start of the YOG Cultural and Educational Talk show in Singapore. I was completely caught off guard, but thought that the youthful spontaneity exemplified the spirit of the YOG DNA.

Q. Tell us a bit about your role as Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires 2018.

A. I am part of a vibrant and astute six-member group, which is responsible for monitoring and assisting the Local Organising Committee to host a successful edition of the 3rd Summer YOG in Buenos Aires. I am responsible for chairing all the relevant meetings with my team and thus I have to ensure that the Games are ultimately organised in accordance with the Olympic Charter.

Q. How did it feel to be appointed Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission for the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires 2018?

A. I am both humbled and honoured by the opportunity to serve our next generation of athletes through this platform.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in your new role and can you tell us a bit about your team?

A. I am looking forward to helping to host the best YOG to date and I am confident that our team has what it takes to host the most exciting, hip and memorable Games ever!

Q. Why do you think Buenos Aires will make a great YOG host city?

A. Buenos Aires has all the right elements to make it a fantastic host city for the 2018 YOG. Singapore was great, Nanjing is going to be amazing, but Buenos Aires is going to be PHENOMENAL!

Q. Would you have liked to have competed in the Youth Olympic Games?

A. Yes, for sure! As a young athlete growing up in a small country, I never had the opportunity to compete against my peers from other countries. I am thankful though that I can relive a bit of my childhood through these Games. However, this time round it is not on the track but rather behind the scenes through my role on the Coordination Commission for the 2018 YOG.

Q. What do you think the future holds for the Youth Olympic Games?

A. The future is super bright for the YOG. I’m surprised we didn’t start them years ago!

Q. You are the perfect example of how life in sport for an athlete does not have to end after competition. Do you have some advice for young athletes hoping to follow in your footsteps?

A. Be passionate about what you do, complete your education and don’t be afraid to work hard in order to see your athletic dreams become reality.

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