President Bach reflects on the most memorable moment of his fencing career.
IOC Athletes’ Commission member Kikkan talks setting goals and how you can build a plan to reach them.
Emma and Sandro suggest some places you can look for inspiration.
The third Chat with Champions event at Yodli Café in the Youth Olympic Village featured a stellar lineup including IOC president Thomas Bach and three Olympic medallists: American cross-country skiing champion Kikkan Randall, Swiss Alpine skiing champion Sandro Viletta and two-time ice hockey bronze medallist Emma Terho of Finland.
Playing with pride
Billed as an open discussion, the young athletes in attendance at the packed Café posed a range of questions to the panel – with the president himself on hand to recall the proudest moment of his sporting career.
“I was lucky enough to win Olympic fencing gold, so that was my proudest Olympic moment,” Mr Bach said. “But I also remember the World Championships the following year. We were up against the Italians and they were leading 7-1. Nobody in the history of fencing had come back to win from that position before, but we turned it around and won.”
I’m so glad I set myself big goals because even though at times it seemed like those goals were out of reach, by building a plan on how to get there, my dreams came true”.
Build a plan for how to reach your goals
Kikkan Randall, who sits on the IOC Athletes’ Commission (AC) and has overcome breast cancer, believes that the overwhelming desire she had to forge a successful sporting career meant she was never tempted to take up a more traditional occupation.
“I knew I wanted to go to the Olympics when I was five years old,” she explained. “I remember watching Calgary 1988 and deciding it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I’m so glad I set myself big goals because even though at times it seemed like those goals were out of reach. by building a plan on how to get there my dreams came true.”
Take inspiration from other athletes
While young athletes are often inspired by sporting figures such as Emma Terho, who is also a member of the IOC AC, Emma herself views today’s generation of sports stars as the real role models.
“There are lots of different examples,” Emma says. “Skateboarder Leticia Bufoni inspires young girls in different parts of the world to be active and chase their dreams. I also think Serena Williams is inspirational for coming back after having a child. I’m a mother myself – it’s not easy.”
Sandro Viletta agrees. “When I see athletes on the slopes today, it’s an inspiration for me,” he said. “Alpine skiing is such a beautiful sport that anyone can do. I just wish I was 15 years younger so I could do it all again! It was an inspiration to see the passion at the YOG.”