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Paige Bueckers represents HHS in the Youth Olympics

Nov 5, 2018

Paige Bueckers, junior, one of Hopkins’ star athletes, recently returned from Buenos Aires, Argentina; but this trip was no vacation.  Rather than lounging on beaches or sight-seeing, her travel overseas was for the 2018 Youth Olympics, where Bueckers, twice gold medalist, won her third.

Johann Rosen first conceptualized The Youth Olympics in 1998 as a response to the increasing numbers of  children facing obesity. The first games were held in August of 2010, organized by the International Olympics committee.

The games are hosted every four years, just like the regular Olympics. Young athletes ages 14-18 come from all around the world, with over 200 countries being represented, to compete against one another.

“I met a lot of people from other countries as a result of traveling with USA Basketball. It was really cool to talk to them and get their perspectives on their lives from different countries. It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between myself and them,” Bueckers said. “Just building relationships with people from other countries is awesome.”

Bueckers was first introduced to basketball by her dad when she was 5 years old and has been playing ever since.

“I had no idea that I would be a 3-time gold medalist at 17 years old. I knew I loved basketball and I wanted to be great, but it never occurred to me that I could have achieved what I have at such a young age,” Bueckers said.

Her experiences with basketball have taught her that if you work hard at something and try to be the best you can be, there is no telling where it can take you; although it takes a lot of practice and commitment.

Bueckers won her first gold medal in the summer of 2017 at the FIBA World Cup, where the USA defeated countries throughout North and South America. This guaranteed their advancement to the 2018 Youth Olympics, where she earned her third gold medal.

“To become successful is not easy. There are days you want to give up and quit; don’t. It’s those times where you need to push the most. If you have a passion for the game and want to be the best, it takes work and sacrifice. The game will give back to you what you gave the game,” Bueckers said.

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