By David Gold

Sid Crosby_scores_winning_Olympic_goal_v_USA_Vancouver_2010December 21 - Ice hockey star Sidney Crosby (pictured) has been announced as the final ambassador for the 2012 Innsbruck Winter Youth Olympic Games, which gets underway next month.

Crosby clinched gold for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and said that he was delighted to be a role model for youngsters.

"It's important that young athletes have the proper guidance and support in their early years," said the 24-year-old captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"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."

Crosby joins South Korean figure skater Yuna Kim, Alpine skiers Lindsey Vonn and Benjamin Raich and Kevin Rolland, the French freestyle skier, as ambassadors for what will be the first ever Winter Youth Olympics.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge said: "We are delighted that Sidney has joined our all-star line-up of Youth Olympic Games Ambassadors.

"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."

More than 1,000 athletes from 65 countries will compete in Innsbruck between January 13 and 22 in the seven sports on the programme for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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