The IAAF has appointed Ato Boldon, Joanna Hayes and Jackie Joyner-Kersee as Ambassadors to the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, which will be held in Eugene, USA, between 22-27 July.
The trio will be very busy while in Oregon. Among their activities, they will conduct interviews with local and international media, provide their thoughts on the Championships live via various social media platforms, and be involved with the medal presentations.
They will also be doing media training for the athletes attending the Championships, including how best to present yourself via social media, and encouraging the competitors with motivational speeches and advice.
The spectators and the general public will get a chance to meet the Ambassadors in a specially constructed Fan Zone alongside the famous Hayward Field stadium.
“Being an IAAF Ambassador for this meet is the most important over all my other Ambassador duties. The World Juniors will always be a special meet for me because I won my first two World titles there, and it signalled to me that I could be a world class sprinter,” said Boldon, the 1997 IAAF World Championships 200m winner and now the host of IAAF Inside Athletics.
“Friends that I made at the World Juniors in 1992, like the USA's Amy Acuff, Great Britain's Darren Campbell and Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie, are all friends to this day, so the friendships have endured. Making history as the first to ever do the sprint double at that meet is also high on my list of career accomplishments,” he added.
“I am honoured to be an ambassador for the 2014 World Junior Championships. To be part of such an important event is a humbling experience for me. To witness at first hand the future stars of our sport is very exciting for me,” said Hayes, the 2004 Olympic Games 100m hurdles champion.
“One of the important things that I would like to pass on to the new generation is that the legacy you leave starts now. How do you want to be remembered? Winning medals is always a goal and a huge part of our sport, it's great to be remembered as a winner but having the respect and admiration of colleagues is also very important,” she added.
IAAF Hall of Fame member and three-time Olympic Games gold medallist Jackie Joyner-Kersee commented: “I take great pride being able to represent the IAAF as an Ambassador for the World Junior Championship this summer. My message to the next generation is a message of hope to continue to move our sport forward.”