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Zhang Xi to help young athletes serve up the best of themselves at Youth Olympic Games

Current beach volleyball world champion Zhang Xi will be on hand to ensure that young athletes get the most of their experience in Nanjing this summer

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 17, 2014 – As young beach volleyball players get set to take part in this summer’s Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing from August 17 to 27, they can count on the support and experience of current beach volleyball world champion, Zhang Xi to help them through the rigours of international competition.

China’s Zhang Xi is one of the 37 Athlete Role Models (ARMs) who have been chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the second edition of the Youth Olympic Games.

Zhang Xi together with former partner Chen Xue took the gold medal at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 following a win at the Fuzhou Open in China at the beginning of the year.

In their first season together, they won the 2006 Shanghai Open ending the year with another gold medal and two silvers. After playing with different partners in 2009 they were reunited in 2010, finishing the year with gold medals from Moscow, Aland and Sanya. They began 2011 slowly, but after winning bronze at the World Championships in Rome they finished the season with gold medals in Aland, Phuket and the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships. In 2012 they finished fourth at the Olympic Games in London as well as at the Asian Championships but were second overall in FIVB World Tour with three gold medals, a silver and bronze. 

FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° said, “I am very pleased to see such a talented athlete like Zhang Xi be a role model for our young beach volleyball athletes. I know that these young people will be able to learn a great deal from her and I urge them all to make full use of the opportunities available to ask questions, exchange ideas and learn from her experiences.”

Selected by the 28 International Federations whose sports will feature at Nanjing 2014, the list comprises many legendary names from the world of sport, including Olympic and world champions.

In Nanjing, they will play a key role in supporting, mentoring and offering advice to the 3,800 young athletes who will be participating in the Games. Also on the list will be Athlete Role Models from the world of rugby sevens and golf, sports which will make their Youth Olympic Games debuts at Nanjing 2014 before appearing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The main goal behind making the Athlete Role Models  as accessible as possible is so they can share their experiences and inspire the young athletes to be the best they can be both on and off the field of play.

Athletes will be able to interact with their Athlete Role Models in the Youth Olympic Village and through a series of educational activities and workshops that will focus on skills development, healthy living, the environment and social responsibility and Olympic values.

Athletes at the Youth Olympic Games will get a chance to converse with their role models behind the scenes during competition time and also through informal chats in the Athlete’s Role Model’s lounge that will be open to all participants. The athletes will also have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons from their heroes during the “Chat with Champions” sessions, which will also be accessible to people around the world through the IOC’s digital platforms. Fans of the Youth Olympic Games, meanwhile, will be able to direct their questions to the Role Models during informal chat sessions on the IOC’s social media channels.

Also in attendance will be the IOC Athletes’ Commission, which will play a key role in the educational activities and workshops for athletes off the field of play during the Youth Olympic Games.

Click here for the full list of Athlete Role Models

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