Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, said that he wanted to start an Olympics for teenagers in 2010. The Youth Olympic Games would feature about 3,500 athletes 14 to 18 years old who would compete in largely the same sports as in the regular Olympics, as reported by the Associated Press.
The IOC is conducting a study on the proposal, which will be discussed at the IOC executive board meeting in Beijing on April 25-27. Rogge said most international sports federations approached about the idea have not opposed it.
This could be very interesting. My hope is that this kind of new opportunity will inspire young people to be more active now and raise youth sport participation in the future. Having a Youth Olympics in place could definitely encourage youth to access new activities that promotes their healthy development.
I wish Youth Olympics were around when I was a young teenager! I played many years of Junior Olympic softball that prepared young athletes to build their skill level up to that of possibly becoming a member of the U.S. National Team. It would have been amazing and inspiring to know that we could have been working to play in the Youth Olympics right then and there.
I always dreamed of being an Olympian. I think I always secretly will. The next best thing to competing in the Olympics myself is to help others get there, so I'm helping out at World Sport Chicago to raise awareness and participation in Olympic and amateur sports.
What do you think of the idea of having Youth Olympics?
(Photo provided by Getty Images/taken by Mike Hewitt)