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Crosby named Youth Olympics Games Ambassador

by Mike G. Morreale /
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby was named a Youth Olympic Games Ambassador on Wednesday for the first edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games scheduled next month in Innsbruck, Austria.

Crosby will join figure skater Yuna Kim (South Korea), Alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn (USA) and Benjamin Raich (Austria), and freestyle skier Kevin Rolland (France) as ambassadors for the upcoming Games, which take place Jan. 13-22, 2012.

Crosby, 24, who scored the gold medal-winning goal for his country at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, is currently third in voting among forwards for the 2012 Tim Horton's NHL All-Star Game despite the fact he has played in just eight games this season because of his recovery from a concussion and subsequent symptoms after returning to action.

He's looking forward to provide guidance to those young athletes around the world. According to the International Olympic Committee, an ambassador of the Youth Olympic Games should inspire and mentor those competing athletes. Crosby will not be traveling to Austria, as this was something he agreed to over the summer.

According to Frank Buonomo, senior director of team operations for the Penguins, Crosby did some filming and conducted a photo shoot over the summer for the IOC. According to Buonomo, Crosby's role in this event has no bearing on his playing status.

"It's important that young athletes have the proper guidance and support in their early years," Crosby said in a statement. "I have always tried to lead by example and be a positive role model for people. I hope my involvement in the first Winter Youth Olympic Games can help inspire the athletes and motivate them to be the best they can be in everything they do, not only during competition."

Innsbruck 2012 will attract more than 1,000 top athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from more than 65 countries. The athletes will compete in the same seven sporting events as those on the program of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.

"We are delighted that Sidney has joined our all-star line-up of Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors," IOC president Jacques Rogge said. "He is one of the best hockey players of his generation, and his passion, dedication and determination are unmatched. He is also an athlete who understands the importance of living by proper values. Without question, the athletes at Innsbruck 2012 have a great role model in Sidney."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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