French freestyle skier, Kevin Rolland, will be watching with interest as the Ski Halfpipe event is introduced to an Olympic event for the first time in January 2012. The Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place between 12th and 23rd January 2012 at Innsbruck and will feature the same expanded programme as the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, meaning that young athletes will get the chance to compete in new events before their senior colleagues.
The 22-year old FIS Freestyle World Ski champion, who trains at the La Plagne ski club, has been invited to attend the Winter Youth Olympic Games as an Ambassador. He will be accompanied in the task by figure skater Yuna Kim and Alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn and Benjamin Raich.
As a sportsman who has won gold at World Ski Championships as both a junior (2007) and a senior (2009), he is well placed to judge the merits of youth competition:
“With ski halfpipe now on the Olympic programme I can finally realise my dream of becoming an Olympian at Sochi 2014. I hope my story helps inspire the young athletes going to Innsbruck 2012 to reach for their dreams and to make the most of the unique opportunities the Youth Olympic Games have to offer.”
1000 athletes aged between 15 and 18 will attend the youth games in Austria to compete and take part in cultural and sporting programmes designed to encourage responsible and sustainable sporting careers.