The Virgin Islands Olympic Committee recently announced the selection of Sacha Gumbs, a tennis player and Muhammad Abiff, a wrestler, as the V.I. representatives to attend the Athens Olympic Youth Camp (OYC) to be held during the Olympics this Summer in Athens Greece August 11-26, 2004, .
The OYC, organized and funded by the Athens Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (ATHOC), is a cross-cultural exchange that will bring together young people from around the world. They will participate with their peers in learning about other nations and their customs and to share the experience of the Olympic Games.
The program is divided into three sections over 16 days. The youth will participate in activities in Athens, outside of Athens and on a one-day cruise to the island of Saronikos. They will attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as Olympic Games competitions, observe athletes training, visit archaeological areas and tour Ancient Olympia.
Youth applicants between the ages 16-18 were required to submit information about their sport and academic achievements, their leadership activities and an essay on “Olympic Spirit” and to be interviewed by the VIOC Executive Board..
The first Olympic Youth Camp was at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, when King Gustav V invited 1,500 Boy Scouts from five countries to pitch their tents next to the Olympic Stadium to provide help for the V Olympiad. The camps have been a regular feature of the Olympic Games since 1952 in Helenski, Finland, with Melbourne and Los Angeles being the exceptions.