By Gary Anderson

Lindsey Vonn has been announced as an official Ambassador for the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games ©Getty ImagesFormer Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn has been named as an Ambassador of the Lillehammer 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, marking 500 days to go until the event gets underway in Norway.

The American served in a similar role for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 2012 and joins Sochi 2014 gold medal winner Kjetil Jansrud of Norway as an official Ambassador for the second edition of the games in 2016.

Vonn became the first woman from the United States to win an Olympic gold in the downhill event at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

However, she was unable to defend her title in Sochi earlier this year after suffering a series of injury setbacks following a serious crash during the World Championships in Schladming, Austria in February last year.

Vonn tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee and fractured her tibia after crashing out in the super-G event.

In her role as Ambassador, Vonn will aim to inspire the next generation of elite athletes, while also reach out to many other young people around the world to encourage them to get active and enjoy the benefits of sport and the learning experiences integrated throughout the Youth Olympic Games.

"It is amazing to be back for more Youth Olympic action," said 29-year-old Vonn.

"Innsbruck 2012 was such an inspirational event, not just to the young athletes there, but also for the kids watching.

"It showcases, in a totally unique way, how much fun and excitement there is in winter sports.

"Lillehammer, with its Olympic history and famous venues, will provide the best experience for the athletes on and off the field of play - I am very excited to be a part of it."

Injury prevented Vonn from defending her Olympic downhill title at Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesInjury prevented Vonn from defending her Olympic downhill title at Sochi 2014
©Getty Images

The second edition of the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place in Lillehammer from February 12 to 21.

The programme will feature the seven sports on the Olympic programme plus some new editions, including team ski-snowboard cross and monobob.

Away from the action, athletes will be encouraged to take part in a unique programme of activities and workshops, including sessions on healthy eating, injury prevention, the dangers of doping and illegal betting, careers in sport and media training.

All existing venues will be used from the legacy of the Lillehammer 1994 Olympic Winter Games.

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