Jani Tanskanen (FIN)

Men’s Artistic


Abhijeet Kumar (IND) © Asian Gymnastics Union

I was honored to be an Athlete Role Model (ARM) at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore 2010. That being the first time the Youth Olympic Games were held, nobody really knew what to expect. Afterwards it was easy to say that the first edition of YOG exceeded even the highest expectations and was a huge success.


The level of gymnastics on display in Singapore was unbelievable, and just two short years later we witnessed some of those gymnasts benefit from their YOG experience as they walked into the arena as Olympic gymnasts at the 2012 London Games. I expect to see even more gymnasts in Rio in 2016 who have YOG experience, either from 2010 or from this summer’s YOG.

Dilan Jimenez (COL) © Ricardo Bufolin / CBG


It´s not only the experience of a big competition, but the numerous learning experiences outside the gymnasium that the YOG concept has to offer young athletes. The Cultural and Educational Programme, workshops, meet-and-greet with older champions, and the chance to learn from other young athletes from different sports and countries inevitably provide opportunities for all participants to become better athletes -- and simply better at everything they do.


I advise all the young gymnasts who are lucky enough to take part in the YOG in Nanjing to come there open-minded, curious and willing to learn new things. On my part, I promise to work as hard as I can as an Athlete Role Model to give all possible help, support and guidance for these young athletes from all over the world.