IOC names Brazilian Pires as Athlete Role Model for 2018 Youth Olympics

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-14 03:58:21|Editor: yan
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BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian Gil de Paes Pires, one of the most prominent players in beach handball, has been chosen by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an Athlete Role Model for Buenos Aires Youth Olympics, and he said on Saturday that he will do all he could to inspire the next young generation.

"It's very special to me. Just watching beach handball at an Olympic Games gives me goosebumps. It's a dream for all of us who play this sport. Helping these young athletes, who are the future, is something incredible," Pires said. "It's a first step towards being among the sports included at the Paris 2024 senior Games."

The beach handball took the place of the traditional indoor handball event at the ongoing Youth Games, with aim of attracting more spectators. But at the Tokyo 2020, the indoor handball will still be on the program.

The 36-year-old athlete is one of those chosen by the IOC to interact with young athletes that are competing at Buenos Aires 2018. He said his mission will be promoting the Olympic values.

"This is the greatest honor I have received in my life as an athlete. The life of an athlete is hard, as it demands that you put in a lot of time to do it in the best way possible. It's very moving to think that these kids see me as a reflection of what they aspire to be," said the Brazilian, a true handball legend in both indoor and beach versions of the discipline.