Danka Barteková, a bronze medallist at London 2012, is hoping to make Slovakians revel in their hosting of EYOF ©Getty Images

Ambassador of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) here in Banská Bystrica, Danka Barteková, has vowed to generate excitement and engagement for the event as she looks to continue the Festival's legacy.

The Slovakian skeet shooter is joined by compatriots Anastasia Kuzmina, who is a triple Olympic biathlon champion, and Rio 2016 race walking gold medallist Matej Tóth in the role.

The trio have been tasked with celebrating the young athletes competing as they gain valuable multi-sport event experience on the path to professionalism.

"I am very proud and feel honoured to be in the company of two Olympic champions as an ambassador of the event," said Barteková, a bronze medal winner from London 2012, who is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member.

"Our role is to spread the engagement and the excitement of the event as we have the pleasure of hosting it here in Slovakia.

"We would like to make people aware but also to make them realise that this is a unique experience for everyone in Banská Bystrica and also Slovakia.

"We want to attract their attention and bring them here to watch and cheer for the young athletes.

Danka Barteková is joined by fellow Slovakians and Olympians Matej Tóth and Anastasia Kuzmina ©EOC
Danka Barteková is joined by fellow Slovakians and Olympians Matej Tóth and Anastasia Kuzmina ©EOC

"We want them to become fans of not only the success, but also endeavour and strive for excellence.

"We believe it is really important for people to learn about our young stars and future athletes.

"My role is to publish on social media, become an influencer maybe, and be not only a face of the event but someone who points out the beauty of the sports event here in Slovakia."

Barteková feels that the EYOF can serve as a key stepping stone for athletes on their way to the Olympic Games and other major events.

This is proven by past achievements as 44 EYOF gold medallists have gone on to step onto the Olympic podium.

These include Romania's Sandra Izbașa, who triumphed in artistic gymnastics at Lignano Sabbiadoro EYOF in 2005, before winning floor exercise and vault gold medals at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, respectively.

Romania has a remarkable record of EYOF and Olympic success as Izbașa's compatriots Gabriela Szabo, Camelia Potec, Maria Olaru, and Oana Ban have all won gold in athletics, swimming, and artistic gymnastics for the latter two, respectively.