COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Clarissa Chun (wrestling; Honolulu, Hawaii), Daryl Homer (fencing; Bronx, New York), Josh Levin (climbing; Sunnyvale, California) and Moy Rivas (sport dancing; Houston, Texas) are among the 50 athletes who were selected by the International Olympic Committee to serve as Athlete Role Models at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. The ARMs will play a key role in supporting and mentoring the nearly 4,000 athletes who will be competing at the Games, to be held Oct. 1-12.
“The Athlete Role Models program is a crucial part of the Youth Olympic Games and an opportunity for young athletes to learn valuable lessons from the best in sport,” said Li Lingwei, acting chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for Buenos Aires 2018. “Competing in international sport at the highest level is an exhilarating career, but it also comes with its pressures and challenges, which is why we are happy to have the team of Athlete Role Models to support the next generation."
Chun competed for the U.S. national wrestling team for 15 years and claimed bronze in the 48 kg. division at the 2012 Olympics in London, where she became the first American female wrestler to compete at multiple Olympic Games. She finished fifth in her Olympic debut in 2008 and went on to win gold at the world championships later that year. In April 2017, she was named assistant coach of the U.S. women’s national wrestling team, a role for which she mentors cadet, junior and senior-level wrestlers. She is the first U.S. women’s wrestler to be named a Youth Olympic Games Athlete Role Model.
A two-time Olympian, Homer became the first U.S. Olympic medalist in men’s individual saber since 1984, taking silver at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. The four-time NCAA All-American from St. John’s University serves as a brand ambassador for Fencing in the Schools and partners with nonprofit organizations in Africa to provide youth with opportunities for growth, mentorship and play. He is also a mentor for underserved youth with the Peter Westbrook Foundation in New York. He is the second American fencer to be named an Athlete Role Model, following Miles Chamley-Watson in 2014.
As one of USA Climbing’s most decorated youth competitors, Levin earned 19 national championships, five continental championships and a bronze medal at the 2008 Youth World Championships. Most recently, he helped the U.S. team to victory in NBC’s America Ninja Warrior, USA vs. The World III. In 2014, he represented the sport of climbing at the Youth Olympic Games’ sport lab in Nanjing, China, and currently serves as the athlete representative on the USA Climbing board of directors. He will serve as the first Athlete Role Model for his sport when climbing makes its Youth Olympic Games debut in Buenos Aires, two years ahead of its inclusion on the Olympic program for Tokyo 2020.
Rivas is a renowned professional dancer, and performs in national television commercials, feature films and as part of speaking engagements in more than 45 countries worldwide. Inspired by his vision to provide youth with a positive atmosphere through hip-hop culture, he opened the Break Free Community Center in the southeast side of Houston. He will serve as the first Athlete Role Model for dance sport, which is making its Youth Olympic Games debut in 2018 with men’s, women’s and mixed team breakdancing in a battle format.
The ARMs will be accessible to the athletes in the Youth Olympic Village and during “Chat with Champions” sessions – a Q&A format to promote discussion with the young athletes. The ARMs will also lead a series of educational activities and workshops within the IOC’s Learn & Share Program that will focus on skills and professional development, Olympism and how to lead healthy lifestyles.
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will mark the fifth installment of the ARM program following its successful debut at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.