Lausanne, Switzerland: The International Golf Federation has appointed former LPGA Tour player Grace Park as Athlete Role Model for golf when the sport makes its debut at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
The South Korean, who has six LPGA titles to her name, will attend the second Youth Olympic Games from August 16-28 and provide behind-the-scenes guidance and inspiration to the young athletes competing in the Games.
Park will join 36 other Athlete Role Models supporting the 3,800 athletes competing across 28 sports in Nanjing. She will be on hand in the Youth Olympic Village to assist with a series of educational activities and workshops designed to inspire and inform competitors to deliver their best performances at the Games and in their future careers.
“Becoming golf’s Athlete Role Model at the Youth Olympic Games is a huge honour. I have had the benefit of so much advice and mentoring throughout my junior development and my professional career and to be able to give something back to the next generation of global golfing talent is a privilege,” said Park.
Born in Seoul, Park moved to the United States at the age of 12 and began an outstanding amateur career that saw her earn a combined 55 national junior, amateur and collegiate titles. She was the American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 1994 and 1996 before winning the 1998 US Women’s Amateur and Women’s Western Amateur.
As a member of the Arizona State Sun Devils women’s golf team, she captured the NCAA team championship title in 1998 and the individual title a year later before turning professional.
Her success continued on the Futures Tour where she won five times to top the money list and earn her LPGA Tour card while being named Player of the Year in 1999. She won four tournaments on the LPGA Tour before winning a Major Championship at the 2004 Kraft Nabisco Championship. She secured her sixth title at the 2004 CJ Nines Bridges Classic. Park announced her retirement from golf in June, 2012.
Golf will feature on the sports programme for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing ahead of its return to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. The golf events will take place at Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club from August 19-26. A total of 64 golfers, 32 male and 32 female, will compete for medals in the individual boys’ and girls’ events and a mixed team event.