By Tom Degun

Beckie_Scott_head_and_shouldersMarch 24 - Former Olympic champion Beckie Scott has been appointed as Canada's Chef de Mission for next year's Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, it was announced today.

The 36-year-old from Alberta is best known for her triumph at the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics as the feat saw her become the first North American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in cross-country skiing.

"I am absolutely thrilled and incredibly honoured to have been asked to be the Chef de Mission of the Canadian team competing in Innsbruck 2012," Scott said.

"The first winter edition of the Youth Olympic Games will be sensational and I can't imagine a greater experience for young competitive athletes.

"I really look forward to guiding, assisting and sharing this memorable event with our team."

Scott is currently serving an eight-year term as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after being elected to the Athlete's Commission in February 2006 and is part of the Coordination Commission for Innsbruck 2012, which is due to take place between January 13 and 22.

"Beckie is the ideal candidate for these inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games," said Caroline Assalian, the the Canadian Olympic Committee's (COC) executive managing director of sport and NSF relations.

"She has intimate knowledge of these Games from her work on the IOC Coordination Commission for Innsbruck 2012.

"More importantly, the Winter Youth Olympic Games are about inspiring youth and living the Olympic Values.

"Beckie has demonstrated her commitment to those values.

"She believes in the Youth Olympic Movement which is why she has decided to make the Canadian Youth Olympic team a priority."

As well as her role with the IOC, Scott is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee.

She was also a part of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games as a Board member for the Organising Committee.

In 2006, Scott became a member of the COC's Executive Committee as well as the Athletes' Council, consequent to her election as an IOC member.

She also serves on the board of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]