DU Alumni / Magazine Feature / People

DU graduate is ambassador for Youth Olympic Games

Erin Kennedy with friend

DU alumna Erin Kennedy, left, will serve as a youth ambassador at the first-ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

Beginning Aug. 14, more than 3,600 athletes will convene in Singapore to compete in the first-ever Youth Olympic Games.

Athletes from all over the world, ages 14–18, will compete in 26 sports and take part in a culture and education exchange. DU graduate Erin Kennedy will be there as the youth ambassador representing Team USA.

“Being able to represent my country is truly an honor,” says Kennedy (MA sports and performance psychology ’09). “To be a part of the first-ever Youth Olympic Games is something I could have only dreamed of. I hope that I can contribute to the amazing experience that all of the athletes, coaches and officials will have.”

Her role as youth ambassador is to promote and run the culture and education programs among the athletes at the games. Kennedy says she will get to use what she learned at DU to help the athletes develop holistically, taking what they’re learning in sport and transfering it to other aspects of their lives.

“The hope is to instill the Olympic values and encourage them to be leaders not only in sport, but in the rest of their lives,” she says.

Kennedy traveled to Singapore in March along with 30 other youth ambassadors. They tried out different activities for the athletes to participate in and discussed how they’d promote the Youth Olympic Games in their home countries.

“Since returning home, I have spent a lot of time promoting the games by utilizing social media, participating in interviews and working with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC),” she says. She is also blogging about the experience.

While Kennedy would love to work for the USOC one day, she’s enjoying her current job as the youth development manager for USA Rugby in Boulder, Colo.

“It is a universal sport centered on camaraderie, passion and a culture that is so rare,” she says of rugby. “It has the makings of other great American sports and with the recent re-inclusion in the Olympic Games (in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro), do not be surprised if everyone starts getting involved.” 

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