Cape Town - South African swimming sensation Chad le Clos has been announced on Friday by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an Ambassador for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.
The announcement took place in Singapore, where Le Clos won five medals at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010 and where he will competes this weekend at the FINA World Cup.
Le Clos follows in the footsteps of his self-declared hero Michael Phelps, who acted as a YOG Ambassador for Singapore 2010.
The influence of Phelps has had a significant impact on Le Clos' career as a role model and finally as a rival.
The South African triumphed over the Olympic legend in London in 2012 to win the gold medal in the 200m butterfly and was crowned Olympic champion.
After missing out on gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, a year later Le Clos is now back in the No 1 spot after winning the FINA World Championships this summer in Budapest.
The Olympic champion, who agreed to act as an Ambassador for the Nanjing 2014 YOG, had no hesitation in renewing his commitment for the next edition that is set to take place in Buenos Aires in October next year.
Speaking about his appointment at the FINA World Cup in Singapore, the 25-year-old said: "The Youth Olympics hold a special place in my heart. If it wasn't for the YOG, I wouldn't have achieved this success, and to be sharing this news here in Singapore where it all started for me is incredible."
"I looked up to Phelps when he was an Ambassador for Singapore 2010; and for that responsibility to fall on my shoulders once again for the YOG is a huge honour for me; and I can't wait to be a part of it in Buenos Aires," he said.
Le Clos joins Olympic basketball champion and Buenos Aires local Luis Scola, and Argentinian hockey legend Luciana Aymar as the third YOG Ambassador for Buenos Aires 2018.
The IOC chooses Olympians to be Ambassadors for each edition of the YOG to help reach and inspire young people to get active through sports activity.
Sporting legends such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Yelena Isinbaeva, Michelle Wie and Yao Ming have supported previous summer YOGs.
The third edition of the Youth Olympic Games takes place between 6 to 18 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
For more information go to www.buenosaires2018.com