Argentinian hockey legend Luciana Aymar has been named as an official ambassador for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires.
The eight-time International Hockey Federation (FIH) player of the year will be tasked with inspiring and educating youngsters around the world, including the thousands of athletes who will compete in her country's capital between October 1 and 12.
Aymar, who has won four Olympic medals - two silvers and two bronzes - has already brought hockey to the people of Buenos Aires through a number of activities.
This includes a coaching session and skills clinic which featured 300 school children at the Pope Francis Club - a venue in an area the local government has targeted for urban regeneration.
"Being named as an ambassador for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in my home country Argentina is simply awesome," said Aymar, whose role was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"Buenos Aires is an unbelievably passionate sports city and I’m so excited to be part of such a special occasion.
"One thing I can guarantee is that everyone coming here for the YOG will have a truly life-changing experience.
"I hope that in my role as an ambassador and by sharing all of my amazing experiences from hockey, I will be able to inspire young people, not only in the terms of sport but also as human beings.
"Many of the youngsters coming to Buenos Aires will be starting out in their sports careers - some may go on to become Olympians, whilst others may go on to pursue other careers.
"Regardless of their future, the Olympic spirit that they will experience here in Buenos Aires will teach them all valuable life lessons.
"I'm sure that each and every athlete lucky enough to participate in the 2018 YOG will embrace this spirit and in doing so provide inspiration to many others in their own unique ways, whichever path they choose.”
Aymar, who won her Olympic medals at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012, also has six Champions Trophy gold medals and two World Cup titles to her name.
The 38-year-old, nicknamed 'The Magician' for her skills on the pitch which has seen her compared to football legend Diego Maradona, gave a speech about her role at the FIH Women's Hockey World League final, which is currently ongoing in another Argentinian city, Rosario.
She retired from the international arena last year and is one of only two Argentinians, alongside sailor Carlos Espínola, to have won four Olympic medals.
FIH President Leandro Negre said: "There’s no-one better to take on this hugely important role than Luciana.
"Whilst her hockey achievements are truly inspirational, she has always been a role model both on and off the field.
"We’ve seen a lot of passion and energy from the local organising committee in Buenos Aires already and that’s exactly the qualities that Luciana will bring with her.
"I have no doubt that she will be looking to ensure that the YOG in her homeland is an amazing experience for all of the young athletes competing there, and the millions more following this event around the world.”
The IOC has selected athletes to be ambassadors at all YOGs, with Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Michelle Wie, Yelena Isinbaeva, Chad le Clos and Yao Ming all appointed in the past.
Argentina's football superstar Lionel Messi was named as a Buenos Aires 2018 ambassador last year.
Hockey appears at the Youth Olympics with the smaller-sided Hockey5s the version of the game on the programme.
Australia won the gold medal at the last Games in Nanning in 2014.
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