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Yumilka Ruiz in role as mentor at Youth Olympic Games

The legendary Yumilka Ruiz will pass on all her experience of four Olympic Games, including two gold medals, in her role as an Athlete Role Model at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games

Singapore, Singapore, August 19, 2010 - With just two days remaining before the start of the Volleyball competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, FIVB Young Writer 4 Young Players Cecilia Mussi caught up with Volleyball legend and Youth Olympic Games Athlete Role Model Yumilka Ruiz of Cuba on Thursday.

2010 Girls' Youth Olympic Games
2010 Boys' Youth Olympic Games 
Women's Youth and Junior World Rankings
Men's Youth and Junior World Rankings 
YOG live coverage
YOG video on demand

What do you think about these first YOG?
It’s a great opportunity for young people because, for example when I was young there was nothing like this tournament, so young athletes can get a lot of experience from this moment on. Then they can meet people from all over the world who is playing the same sport, stay with them and meet champions from the past, like me.

What’s your role here?
I am one of the Athlete Role Models for Volleyball, so I will be everyday at the venues for all the matches, and now I have just watched my team Cuba train, and other men’s teams.

What do you think about the teams competing in the men and women’s tournaments?
I think that for the girls, Japan is a good team, and for the men is a little be harder because they are all good, but maybe there can be Russia or Cuba the champion. We have a strong team, with the VIP, who is Leon, maybe now he is one of the most experienced boys here because he has played with the national team before (in the 2009 and 2010 World League). He is very tough, motivated, and physically strong. I think that you should keep an eye on him because he is going to be very famous in the future.

What about your life now after retirement, what are you doing?
I retired 2 years ago, and I decided to return to Cuba and stay there with my family, after some years travelling all over the world. Besides being an IOC member, I work with my national federation now, but above all I became a coach of a young team of girls from 9 to 12 years old. I am really happy to teach them all I have learnt during my career.

Yumilka Ruiz Luaces (born May 8, 1978 in Havana) represented Cuba in four consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1996. The outside hitter twice won a gold medal with the national team in 1996 and 2000; she also claimed the bronze at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
She retired in 2008 aged 30.


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