U.S. Olympic Committee Selects Team USA Young Ambassador for Youth Olympic Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has selected Erin Kennedy from USA Rugby as the Young Ambassador to represent Team USA at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Kennedy will be a part of the U.S. delegation for the Games, held Aug. 14-26, 2010.

"We are proud Erin will be representing Team USA in Singapore," USOC Chief of Sport Performance Mike English said. "These first Youth Olympic Games will be an exciting time for our athletes. We know Erin will successfully motivate the members of Team USA to be a part of all activities surrounding the Games and to truly embrace the Olympic Values of friendship, fair play and respect. Singapore will undoubtedly stage a spectacular inaugural event, which will also serve to cultivate our Olympians and encourage generations of future athletes."

Kennedy serves as the Youth Development Manager for USA Rugby where she develops opportunities for young people to learn about and play the sport of rugby. She previously worked with the USOC coaching department, and she has served as a youth basketball and soccer coach. Kennedy received her bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology and Spanish from Marywood University and her master’s in sport and performance psychology from the University of Denver.

"I am thrilled to have been selected for this position and look forward to getting started right away," Kennedy said. "To have the opportunity to work with young athletes at this level is an honor. Every day with USA Rugby I work to develop the youth rugby population in the United States, and to now extend that work to an international competition is a dream come true. The Youth Olympic Games is a great opportunity for these young individuals, and I am honored to be a part of the experience."

The Young Ambassador will have the responsibility of encouraging Team USA athletes to participate in the cultural and educational activities that will be part of the Games, along with supporting the U.S. Chef de Mission. As a new initiative developed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Young Ambassador will also participate in the IOC’s youth sport forums and reporting on the activities for the IOC and USOC.

Kennedy was selected by a USOC committee after completing an application and interview process. The position was open to current employees of the USOC, a U.S. sport National Governing Body or U.S. Olympic Training Site ages 18-25, and the application included an essay, nomination form and writing samples.

"USA Rugby is delighted the USOC has selected Erin to be their Young Ambassador," Nigel Melville, USA Rugby CEO, said. "Erin is passionate about developing young athletes and promoting the values of sport. I am sure she will embrace this role with the same enthusiasm she demonstrates every day at USA Rugby."

Kennedy will be introduced during an announcement ceremony on Thursday at 10:30 am MT in the Visitor Center at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

About the 2010 Youth Olympic Games
Singapore will be hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games from Aug. 14-26, 2010, as young athletes age 14-18 will compete in 26 sports and take part in the Culture and Education Program. Approximately 5,000 athletes and officials from around the world will participate, attracting more than 500,000 spectators. The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games aim to inspire youth around the world to embrace, embody and express the Olympic Values. More information can be found at www.singapore2010.sg.

For more information, please contact the USOC Communications Division at (719) 866-4529 or visit www.teamusa.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.