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FIVB BEACH VOLLEYBALL NEWS

Zhang Xi ‘honoured’ to be Athlete Role Model in Nanjing

 
Zhang Xi will be using her experiences from the 2012 Olympic Games in London to mentor the young athletes in Nanjing

Nanjing, China, March 20, 2014 – Current beach volleyball world champion Zhang Xi of China, has expressed her delight with her appointment as Athlete Role Model for the second edition of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

“I am honoured to be chosen as the Athlete Role Model (ARM) by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the second edition of the Youth Olympic Games,” said Zhang Xi.

“Being an athlete and playing beach volleyball, it gives me life-long influence. I would take this opportunity to share the passion of sport with everybody, especially those young guys. It is great to contribute to their involvement in the sport and their health.”

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. 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.

As with the other Athlete Role Models, Zhang Xi 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 Youth Olympic Games will be a special time for Zhang Xi, who grew up in the host city of Nanjing and is currently studying at the Nanjing University to finish her graduate course in Law.

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.

“I am looking forward to this campaign,” said Zhang Xi. “It will be fun to have different interactions with young athletes and audiences. I will transfer to them a positive attitude. Sport is part of life. The most important thing is not to win but to participate and they will gain from the participation.”

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.

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