Working with the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Embassy Minsk welcomed Evan Lysacek as a Sports Envoy. Lysacek, reigning Olympic gold medalist in figure skating, inspired hundreds of youth during his visit to Belarus April 11-13, 2012. To open his visit, Evan led a discussion with young learners of English on overcoming adversity, volunteerism, and the importance of staying active. This event was also broadcast as a webchat, and it was enjoyed by participants from all over Belarus.
Evan also conducted two master classes for young skaters, including many who traveled from outside of Minsk to attend. He addressed university students at the University of Physical Culture, touching on themes such as how to learn from setbacks, the importance of good sportsmanship, and how all people can make the most of their abilities.
Evan also visited an NGO that promotes sports for people with disabilities. The young athletes demonstrated wheelchair fencing and wheelchair dancing. Evan discussed his support of the Paralympic movement, and even tried wheelchair fencing, facing off with a world champion wheelchair dancer.
Finally, Evan conducted a webchat with readers of a popular newspaper before holding a press availability for members of both state and independent media.
For more on Evan's trip, visit the SportsUnited Flickr photo stream documenting his trip.
Story courtesy U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. For more on Sports Envoys, check out the organization's SportsUnited program.