YOG legacy at Rio 2016 as nearly 500 alumni set to compete in the Games!

Nearly 500 athletes who participated in a previous edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) have qualified and will compete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. This is a great legacy of the YOG, and demonstrates how they can help athletes achieve great results in their sporting careers.

Picture by 2014 Getty Images

Qualifications for the Olympic Games Rio 2016, set to begin 5 August, are now over and National Olympic Committees have announced their teams. And the really exciting news is that among those heading to Brazil, many are YOG athletes. Four years ago, 193 athletes who had participated in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010 went on to participate at London 2012. Today, that number has spiked to nearly 500.


These young athletes have taken part either in the first Summer YOG in Singapore in 2010, or Nanjing 2014, and one athlete was also at the first Winter YOG in Innsbruck in 2012! Jazmin Sawyers won a medal in bobsleigh in Innsbruck and will compete in the long jump for Great Britain in Rio.

Other notable YOG athletes include Jessica Fox, a canoeist from Australia. She won a gold medal at Singapore 2010, following it up with a silver medal at London 2012. She will be fighting for gold in Rio. She believes the YOG played a huge part in her success in London: “Nothing really prepares you for an Olympics,” she says. “You don’t understand the crowd, the transport, the Village – you don’t get that anywhere else. So the YOG really gave us that. I saw a lot of young athletes who were really overwhelmed in London but for me, it was just a bigger version of the YOG.”

The Nanjing 2014 alumni class will feature athletes with high hopes for Rio. Amongst them is Shakur Stevenson, a boxer from the USA. His expectations for the Olympic tournament are big: “I know that when I go there, it’s going to be better than anything I can imagine, in terms of the environment and everything,” he adds. “I expect it to be an amazing place; something like I’ve never seen before and I want to stay focused on what I do. I’m looking forward to winning a gold medal and doing it in front of all my family.”

These are just a few examples of the large YOG delegation who will give everything to make their mark in Brazil, further highlighting how the Youth Olympic Games are a great springboard in an athlete’s career.

From 5 to 21 August and beyond, we’ll cover these stories extensively. Make sure you visit olympic.org/yog, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@youtholympics) to get all the news on YOG athletes shining in Rio!